Skip to main content

Full text of "Miss Mayos Mother India"

See other formats






Editor " The Indian Social Re/wnur" 



Editor of ' The Indian Rt 
Membef) Council of 

FUST io 
6. A. NATESAN & 



Mr. K. Natarajan, the cultured and talented 
Editor of the Indian Social Reformer, has 
done a public service in subjecting Miss Mayo's 
" Mother India" to a close and critical examina- 
tion in a series of articles in his well-known 
Weekly. They are collected together under 
this cover with a view to point out to the 
public at large, particularly to English and 
American readers, how Miss Mayo 'betrays 
her mortal aversion to things Indian/ and how 
her * aversion is rooted in ignorance*. Mr. 
Natarajan rightly points out that Miss Mayo's 
purpose is 'really political and racial' and 
' sanitary science merely a pretext/ She is a 
' purblind propagandist', with a ' fanatic frenzy 
for the superiority and supremacy of the whites*, 
trying to find a ' justification for the perpetu- 
ation of the white domination and pour con- 
tempt on the national character and aspirations 
of the Indian people/ The whole structure of 
Miss Mayo's book is ' an imitation of the 
scenario of a cinema show'. Mr. Natarajan 
subjects Miss Mayo's remarks about the Hindu 
social institutions and the Hindu religion tea 
detailed examination. He charges Miss Mayo 
with 'freely indulging in half-truths and eveo 


untruths without any attempt to verify the 
and shows how in quoting authorities si 
leaves out 'everything that does not suit he* 
purpose'. He warns the readers of Mh 
Mayo's book 'to be constantly on their guar 
against accepting without verification her statt 
ments'. 'She is a witness who takes liberties 
with truths', a statement confirmed by theg 
Rev. H. A. Popley, Lala Lajpat Rai, Dr. MarJ 
garet Balfour, Sir Rabin d ran ath Tagore aac! 
Mahatma Gandhi which form valuable appen-? 
dices to this book. Sir Rabindranath Tagore 
whom Miss Mayo has quoted, draws pointec 
attention to the 'numerous lies mixed with f 
that have been dexterously manipulated by L r 
and accuses her of 'deliberately untruthfu 
irresponsibility' and of ' indulging in a malici 
ous piece of fabrication'. Mahatma Ganctt* 
who has been a victim in the same direction a 
Miss Mayo's hands compares her book to ' 
report of a drain Inspector sent out with th% 
one purpose of opening and examining th<* 
drains of the country to be reported upon, 03 
to give a graphic description of the stenc|5 
exhuded by the opened drains. 1 H< : 
charges her with taking liberty with hi S 
writings and avers that she is ' without doub t 
untruthful. 1 

Mr, Natarajan, like other Indians, feels parti4 
cularly indignant about the degrading accusa4 
tions of Miss Mayo against the mothers of) 

dta, their daughters and sons and above all 
fir religion. 

4 ' Any one who knows the high honour 
in which motherhood and mothers are 
held in India will have no hesitation in 
describing Miss Mayo's statement as a 
frigid, calculated lie. India may forgive 
iss Mayo many things, but this coward- 
Dassault on the honour of her mothers, 
rover. This single statement alone brands 
iss Katherine Mayo, but it is needless to 
iv more/ 

[If any one thinks that this criticism of the 
' or is in any way strong and undeserved he 
only to remember that Mr. Xatarajan, the 
litor of the Indian Social Reformer ', is 
high caste South Indian Brahmin who has 
over forty years been an ardent social 
"ormer. Indeed he was a reformer when 
j term was one of reproach, and he has 
jen living the life he has all along been 
eaching. As one of the founders and later on 
tr years, as the Editor of the INDIAN SOCIAL 
EFORMER, he has been week after week plead- 
ig strongly for 'the abolition of child-marriage, 
nforced widowhood, and dedication of women 
* devadasis, purity, total abstinence, removal 
caste restrictions on sea-voyage,^ inter- 
ining and inter-marriage, the removal ofun- 
mchability, women's education, the abolition 
f animal sacrifices* etc. 


In advocating these social and religious re* 
forms in the Hindu Community he has display- 
ed singular courage, self-sacrifice and devotion 
to the cause which has been to him a sacred 
one. And he has been associated for years in 
this great and noble work with such honour- 
ed men as Malabari, Bhandarkar, Ranade, 
Telang, Chandavarkar and a host of other dis- 
tinguished Indians who have played no in- 
significant part in all the movements for the 
uplift of the Hindu society. Well therefore 
might he exclaim, 'Miss Mayo is nearly im- 
pertinent when she says that Indians are afraid 
to face the ugly facts in their social life'. 

1 India must go about her Reforms in 
her own way in keeping with the historic 
continuity of her culture and civilisation. 
She will not be bullied into it by the 
calumnies of a Miss Katherine Mayo. 
Our right to criticise and condemn the 
evils of our society and to plead with 
our people for reform carries with it a 
corresponding duty to defend , them 
against interested and malicious calumny 
such as Miss Katherine Mayo's.' 
India, her people and her religion have 
been the victims of misrepresentation at the 
hands of many interested aliens on many a 
occasion in the past. But in deliberate sup- 
pression of truth, perversion of facts and 
down-right allegations against Indian charac- 


ter and Indian Institutions, Miss Mayo beats 
the record. And her distorted account of 
India (for which has mischievously been secur- 
ed a wide and unprecedented publicity not only 
in America but also in England) at this time 
when the Indian people are fighting for 
self-Government and self-determination has, 
according to some well informed critics, a 
deliberate political purpose behind it. Many 
along and well-tried friend of India speaks 
and writes about the mischief of Miss Mayo's 
book. If this exposure of 'an atrocious in- 
justice to an ancient people* will go to some 
extent at least in removing ' the malignant 
contagion of race hatred ' that has been propa- 
gated by Miss Mayo's writings, the writer and 
the Publisher will feel amply rewarded. 

Dec. 1927. J G. A, NATESAN, 



By Mr. K. Natarajan 1 

Dr. Margaret Balfour * - 95 

Lala Lajpat Rai - 96 

Rev. H. A. Popley - 98 

Sir Rabindranath Tagore -- 99 

Mahatma Gandhi 103 

Ditcher 107 

Sir C. P, Ramaswami Aiyar 109 





MISS Katherine Mayo has divided her 
book into five parts, composed of five 
to seven chapters each. Each part is ushered 
in with an " interlude," that to the first chapter 
being called an " introduction." The " intro- 
duction" to the first part bears the explanatory, 
title, " The Bus to Mandalay. " All the eight 
pages of this ''introduction," however, are 
devoted to the description of the temple of 
Kali in Calcutta and there is not a word about 
Mandalay. The explanatory heading, there-, 
fore, is unintelligible except on the supposition 
that Miss Mayo's notion of geography gqt 
somewhat mixed when she sat down to write; 
this book. There is something about a bus, 
but there is nothing about Mandalay. Perhaps,,; 
Miss Mayo intended that the. Bengalee 

whom she saw in Calcutta are destined some 
time or other to be deported to Mandalay. 

In the very first paragraph of this "introduc- 
tion " the author betrays her mortal aversion 
to things Indian. She contrasts European and 
modern Calcutta with "the Indian town of 
temples, mosques, baxaars, and intricate court- 
yards and alleys, that has somehow created 
itself despite the rectangular lines shown on 
the map." Here we see how her aversion is 
rooted in her ignorance. A town, even an/ 
" Indian town," does not "somehow create 
itself. k lt is slowly, gradually, evolved in 
response to the needs of the people, and, to the 
trained eye of the sociologist, it reveals the 
story of many generations, it may be centuries. 
If you go to Nasik and look at the Indian town 
from the Tapovan bank of the Godavari, you 
can distinctly trace four or five townships one 
below the other, the lowest and the most recent 
being closest to the river. It is plain as plain 
can be that the dominating factor in the evolu- 
tion of Nasik is easy access to the river on 
which it depends for its water. As the river 


cut deeper and deeper into the rock in the 
course of centuries, the town had perforce 4 
descend lower and lower so as not to put too 
great a strain upon the women who, after their 
daily bath, had to carry water home for 
kitchen and drinking purposes. The last 
words of her sentence indicate that Miss 
Mayo is under a misconception. She seems to 
think that the town was made from the map, 
which is of course the reverse of the fact. The 
town existed long before the map was drawn. 

In the very next sentence again Miss Mayo 
betrays her bitter animus. She is not content 
to state the facts and let the reader draw his 
own conclusions, or at least to state all her 
facts and reserve her comments to the last. 
The very second sentence of the very first 
chapter of her book speaks of ''many little 
bookstalls where narrow-chested, anaemic, 
young Indian students, in native dress, brood 
over piles of fly-blown Russian pamphlets,* 9 
This writer has seen Calcutta at fairly close 
quarters not once but several times, but this is 
not the picture of the Indian town which arises 

to his mind. Unkind strangers often call the 
Bengali Babu oleaginous but not anaemic. 
In her description of Bengali youth she is 
merely repeating the Anglo-Indian conception 
of political enthusiasts as decadents. As a 
matter of fact, Young Bengal since the days of 
die Partition has paid particular attention to its 
physical fitness an example that is being 
followed all over the country. 

As for ' 'fly-blown Russian pamphlets," if 
Miss Mayo means they were written in Russian 
we do not think that one out of a thousand 
Calcutta students can read that language, and 
the Soviet propaganda head-quarters must be 
run by incredible fools to waste its money in 
sending piles of pamphlets to India. Miss 
Mayo, perhaps, means that they were written 
in English but of Russian origin. Even in that 
case, however, her statement requires verifica- 
tion as the Government of India have proscri- 
bed all publications having a communist com- 
plexion, under the Popt Office and Sea Cus- 
toms Acts. If some, nevertheless, managed to 
. the .prohibition, It is hardly credible that 

they could be exhibited in piles in little book- 
stalls all over Indian Calcutta for students to 
brood over. Why then does Miss Mayo 
indulge in this bit of palpable fiction ? The 
answer is obvious. The word " Russian'* is 
like a red rag to a bull to the English-speaking 
world, and Miss Mayo's purpose is from first to 
last to excite prejudice as much as possible in 
order to make her readers receptive to her 
horrors. The whole structure of her book is 
an imitation of the scenario of a cinema show. 

The first place Miss Mayo goes to in Cal- 
cutta, or at any rate sees fit to describe by > 
way of introduction, is not the Bethnne College, 
or the Brahmo Samaj, or Sir J. C. Bose's world- 
famous laboratory, or the College of Science 
of Sir P. C. Ray, or the University where Pro- 
fessors Raman and Radhakrishnan pursue their 
researches in Science and Philosophy. These 
places do not suit her purpose. It is the 
Kalighat Temple which is one of the very few 
important temples in India where animals are 
still sacrificed, that she pitches upon for her 
opening view of India. The importance of 

Kalighat is purely local. It is not like the 
great shrines at Benares, Jagannath, Ramesh- 
waram, Madura, Shrirangam, Nasik, Dwarka, 
Muttra, Brindaban, Allahabad, Hardwar and 
Amritsar, of all-India sanctity. Yet Miss Mayo 
deliberately leaves aside all these temples, 
some of which are far more imposing even 
from an architectural point of view, to hunt up 
the gruesome holocaust at Kalighat, which she 
describes with disgusting detail. 

And yet what happens in Kalighat to-day ,. 
was of daily occurrence, perhaps on a larger 
scale, at the temple of Jerusalem when Jesus 
Christ taught in its temple porches. Let us in 
this connection quote a few lines from the 
recent book on Paul by the anonymous author 
of "By an Unknown Disciple" : 

"It all flooded back into Paul's mind. It had begun 
with the hot, savage tmell of blood. In spite of the 
effort* of the priests to keep everything reasonably 
clean, and inepite of the half-yearly whitening of the 
unhewn atones, that horrible smell of mingled blood 
and burnt fat hong everywhere near the Altar of 
Sacrifice. Xven when you avoided the benches near 
the east fire on which the offerings were burnt, a wind 
from the hills might blow the smell right round the 
oolonnade. Paul could see it alb the great smouldering 
fire with bits of half-burnt flesh and bones and ashes) 
ail ttdUy raked together; the Iamb tightly haM with 

its legs bunched together like a water- bag; the finger* 
of the sacrificing priest searching lor its windpipe, 
and the bend forward of the attendant prieet with the 
pointed silver vessel into which the Mood would squirt 
from the cut throat of the victim. Then the sorinkllng 
of the blood, the marble tables piled with flesh ana 
fat and cleaned entrails, the great heap of salt, the 
splashes of blood on the white garments of the priests 
and their bare feet blood speckled too... as they 
walked up and down the "alt-strewn causeway to the 
altar. All his life worship in the Temple had been 
associated with that smell, and with the bleating of 
sheen and the cries of the kid* tied *o the gold ring* 
ready for sacrifice." Paul the Jw. Pages 8-9. 

We do not say this in justification of Kali- 
ghat. On the contrary, with the light of 
Ahimsa about her feet, India is more greatly 
guilty of tolerating the sacrifice of dumb 
animals in the name of religion. But that is* 
not Miss Mayo's point. She and others 
have accepted Judaism as an ethical reli- 
gion, notwithstanding that this daily holo- 
caust of dumb animals was a part of 
its daily ritual at the time when it flou- 
rished in its native soil. For aught we 
know, but for the destruction of the Temple at 
Jerusalem, these sacrifices would be going on 
to-day, because the Jews are as tenacious of 
old land-marks as the Hindus. And yet 
when in a land, where Buddha lived and taught 


And Jainism is a living faith, and where Vedic 
sacrifices have been totally abolished from 
Hinduism, a few Kali temples from historic 
causes retain this barbarous custom, Miss 
Katherine Mayo shrieks herself hoarse over the 
iniquities of Hinduism and the Hindus ! And 
one word more. Let us talk commonsense. 
Miss Mayo, is horrified at the slaughter of 
affrighted goats in the Kalighat Temple. But, 
Miss Mayo, has it ever occurred to you that 
thousands of goats and sheep, and cows and 
bulls, and pigs are daily killed in the worship 
of the great belly-god in Europe and America ? 
Miss Mayo will do well to read her St. Mathew 


" Woe unto you, Scribes a*d Pharisees, hypocrites ! 
for yemakeoloan the outside of the cup and of the 
platter; but within they are full of extortion and 

Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is 
within the cup and platter, that the outside of them 
xnay be clean also. 

Woe unto you. Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites t 
for ye are likewhited sepulchres, which indeed appear 
beautiful outward, but re within full of dead men's 
bones and of all unclean ness. 

Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto 
men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.** 
. Ch. XX III. 15-89. 


We are under a special obligation to sift the 
facts in Miss Katherine Mayo's book because 
this journal was started and has ever had for its 
main purpose the reform of the social evils 
which figure so prominently in it. The need 
for a special journal to deal with social reform 
was felt acutely during the fierce Age of Con- 
sent agitation of 1890 when the REFORMER 
was launched into existence. The abolition of 
child-marriage, enforced widowhood, and dedi- 
cation of women as devadasis, purity, total 
abstinence, removal of caste restrictions on 
sea-voyage, inter-dining and inter-marriage, the 
removal of untouchability, women's education, 
the abolition of animal sacrifices all these and 
other social and moral reforms have been 
advocated and, in some cases, initiated by this 
paper. In the work of Indian reform propa- 
ganda, Christian missionaries of the more 
broad-minded type t have gladly co-operated 
with Indian reformers, though the less broad" 
minded have held aloof on the ground that 


there was no hope for the people of India* 
unless they were converted to Christianity. 
Government,as a whole, have not been very- 
helpful, and when it came to legislation, they 
have almost invariably thrown their weight on/ 
the side of the status quo. The social reform 
movement, it may indeed be said, has had to- 
work without any countenance from officials, 
although at the outset and for many years,, 
social reformers were represented by their 
opponents as playing the game of the bureau- 
cracy and Christian missionaries. 

The moral influence of the European is r 
for various reasons, no longer what it used to- 
be, but it is still not altogether extinct. When* 
Dr. Besant first came to India, she delivered a 
lecture on the Madras maidan on Hinduism. 
The venerable social reform leader, Dewan* 
Bahadur R. Raghunath Rao, presided. At. 
the end of her lecture, the old veteran said 
with just a tinge of bitterness : "Gentlemen, I 
hare been saying these same things for the* 
last thirty years, but now that a white lady has 
spoken of them, I hope they will receive more 


attention from you/ 1 Miss Katherine Mayo* 
could have given a helpful impetus in the 
same direction, had she written her book in 
the spirit of understanding and sympathy which 
should actuate every reformer,, and not of 
ill-informed censoriousness which vitiates it 
throughout. The reformer must above all 
things guard against exaggeration Under- 
statement helps, while over-statement irretrie- 
vably injures a good cause. Not only has 
Miss Katherine Mayo grossly exaggerated the 
extent and nature of actual evils but she has, 
as we shall show, freely indulged in half-truths 
and even untruths without any attempt to 
verify them. She has thus done a distinct 
disservice to the cause in whose interests she 
professes, no doubt sincerely, to have written 
it. Her worst sin, from the point of view of 
the reformer, is that she has branded the 
Indian people as a congenitally imbecile race 
for which the only hope lies in extinction. If 
the Indian people are what she holds them to 
be, it is manifestly absurd to expect them "&* 
pull out with both hands" the evils which ac- 


cording to her, are at the root of their exis- 

The book, in the most charitable view, is the 
product of a fanatic frenzy for the superiority 
and supremacy of the whites. The author 
begins by professing a purely scientific and 
sanitary object in writing the book, de- 
tached [entirely from politics and religion. 
But she is too eager and impetuous to keep 
up this pretence even to the end of the first 
chapter. Her " Argument** as] this chapter 
is called makes it plain that she came to 
India determined to see the kind of things 
that she says she has seen, to hear the things 
she says she has heard. It is nonsense to say, 
as she does, that America was without any 
means of information about India and that is 
why she thought of writing her book. Besides 

the large number of American missionaries 
who have been working in many parts of the 

-country for over half a century, several distin- 
guished American scholars and publicists have 
written on India with much fuller knowledge 

-and, consequently, deeper insight and under- 


standing about things Indian. By far the best 
book on the religions of India by a non-Indian 
is one written by an American scholar. There 
are several others, and their number is on the 
increase. We notice with regret in some of 
the criticisms of Miss Mayo'sbookin the Indian, 
press a tendency to generalise about the Ameri- 
can attitude to India. This is quite wrong. 
We have kept ourselves in fairly close touch 
with American thought on India, and we have 
no hesitation in saying that Miss Mayo's book 
is a freak an exception to the high general 
level of understanding and insight. 

Before coming to India, Miss Katherine 
Mayo called at the India Office in London, she 
says, a complete stranger, and stated her plan* 
We quote her own words, as to what happened 
there : 

"What would you like us to do for you," 
asked the gentlemen who received me. 

"Nothing", I answered, "except to believe 
what I say. A foreign stranger prying about 
India, not studying ancient architecture, note 
seeking philosophers or poets, not even hunt- 


: ing big game, and commissioned by no one, 
anywhere, may seem a queer figure. 'Especial- 
ly if that stranger develops an acute tendency 
to ask questions. I should like it to be accept- 
ed that I am neither an idle busybody nor a 
political agent, but merely an ordinary Ameri- 
can citizen seeking test facts [to lay before my 
own people." She had introductions from the 
India Office. India Offices do not give intro- 
ductions to complete strangers ! 

"But whatever you do, be careful not to 
generalize," the British urged. (We are still 
quoting Miss Mayo.) "In this huge country 
little or nothing is everywhere true. Madras 
and Peshawar, Bombay and Calcutta attribute 
the things of one of these to any one of the 
others, andjreu are out of court." (Italics are 

Whatever Miss Mayo might have thought, 
the India Office thoroughly understood that here 
Was a volunteer with her pen to champion 
British rule against Indian politicals. The 
jfact thtt she 'was an American was a point 
tin her favour. Englishmen, even the most 


ignorant and bigoted of them, cannot 
in decency claim for their rule the absolute 
immunity, which a foreigner can, from all 
responsibility for whatever is ugly and of ill- 
report in the condition of the people whom 
they have governed for nearly two centuries. 
The India Office gentlemen were afraid that 
Miss Mayo's zeal might outrun her discretion, 
and that she would put herself out of court by 
mixing up Madras with Peshawar, Calcutta 
with Bombay. In some future "Recollections" 
of one of those gentlemen of the India Office, 
we may come across an entry to the following 
effect : " October 10, 1925. Had a strange 
visitor. A female Yankee who whole-hearted- 
ly believes in the mission of her countiy, and 
of herself in particular, to save civilization. 
She has, it seems, written a book proving to 
her own satisfaction that the Fillipinos are an 
effete race and that Providence has ordained 
that America should dominate them. She is 
anxious to do the same service to us in India, 
as a labour of love. Only difficulty is she 
does not know anything of India except that 


Gandhi lives there and tigers. She has a very 
confused idea even of Indian geography 
thinks Madras is the capital of the Frontier 
province and Peshawar is a town in East 
Bengal. Warned her that mixing up things in 
India will put her out of court. Suggested 
that she will be wise to tread, if she must, 
gently on Mussalman toes, and that Madras 
Brahmins and Bengalee Babus are our mam 
trouble. Am sure her book will be not much 
to speak of ; but we have given women votes 
in this country and Miss Mayo s thesis about 
the oppression of Indian women by their own 
men, may have an electoral value. At any 
rate, it may help to divert Indian politicians 
for a while, and that is something gained." 

In her very first chapter Miss Mayo unfolds, 
her real purpose which is political and racial 
and sanitary science merely the pretext. " The 
British administration of India, be it good, bad 
or indifferent, has nothing whatever to do with 
the conditions indicated." (p. 24. Our re- 
ferences throughout are to the English edition). 
The cat is here out of the bag, and cpntinue^ 


mewing to the end of the book. "Whether 
British or Russians or Japanese sit in the seat 

of the highest the only power that 

can hasten the pace of freedom, is the power o 
the men of India facing and attacking the task 
that awaits them in their own bodies and 
souls." (p. 25). This last statement will be 
cordially endorsed by every Indian. Only, he 
cannot help asking, why should there be a 
British administration at all. since he alone 
can redeem his people. The matter does 
not end there. An administration must 
be a help or it must be a hindrance to nation- 
al redemption. If it is not the one it must 
be the other. Absorbing a large part of the 
national income, controlling all avenues of 
economic and political life, it cannot be regard* 
ed as an indifferent and unresponsible 
spectator of the peoples' life. That is why 
Mahatma Gandhi's indictment charging British 
Rule for Indian helplessness and lack of initia- 
tive and originality, has much point to it and 
is not the imbecile whining which Miss 
Katherine Mayo makes it out to be. That is 


why most Indians feel that not till India's 
destiny is controlled by Indian hands the 
British need not abdicate and go, but may 
remain and help can there be any chance of 
a solid programme of reform being steadily 
put into effect, as has been done in Japan, 
and as is being done in Turkey. A shrewd 
English reviewer, who holds that Hinduism is 
beneath contempt which only means that his 
knowledge of it is is obliged to say that Miss 
Mayo "lost her case," which he considers a 
strong one, ''when she wove into it a bitter 
conviction that the white man's rule is so 
overwhelmingly good for inferior breeds that 
it is only wickedness that makes them dissatis- 
fied/ 1 (Edward Thompson in the Nation and 
Athenceum. July 30). 

While Miss Katherine Mayo in her first 
chapter affirms that Indians alone can workout 
their redemption, in the second chapter she 
maintains that Indians in the nature of things 
cannot help themselves. "The whole pyramid 
of the Indian's woes, material and spiritual,- 
rests upon a rock-bottom physical base. This 


base is, simply, his manner of getting into the 
world, and his sex-life thenceforward." (p. 39) 
It is with this statement, and the facts or sup- 
posed facts by which she supports it, that we 
are chiefly concerned. It is not easy to disen- 
tangle Miss Katherine Mayo's facts from her 
inferences. Either deliberately or from sheer 
perversity they constantly get confused with 
each other. Miss Mayo has no sense of history 
which she invents to suit her argument as she 
goes along. Her thoughts, indeed, have no 
background. She is constantly involving 
herself and her readers in "the fallacy of many 
questions,'* of which the stock example in the 
text-books is : ''Have you left off beating your 
mother, yes or no?" If the answer is a yes," it 
means that you were in the habit of thrashing 
your mother. If it is "no, 11 it means that you 
are still persisting in it. It is of such questions 
that Tennyson wrote the familiar lines : 

That a lie which ii half a troth ii ever the blackest 
of lie*, 

That a lie which if mil a lie may be mat and fought 
with outright, ^^ 

Bat a lie which it part a truth it a harder matter 
o fight. 


Miss Katherine Mayo's book is built upon 
such half-truths. 

All her comments on and about child- 
marriage including the unpardonable perver- 
sion of Rabindra Nath Tagore's article in 
Keyserling's " Marriage " are based on the 
assumption that the marriage rite among 
Hindus means the same thing as it does among 
Europeans ; whereas, the fact is that in the 
Indian sense it is really a betrothal, but a 
betrothal having the binding effect of marriage. 
Tlie consummation may be and is usually put 
off till after the girl attains puberty. Over the 
greater part of India this is the long-established 
practice. In a few parts of the country, parti- 
cularly those which have longest been under 
foreign rule, unfortunately, this healthy interval 
had come to be curtailed or even eliminated. 
It is an axiom of sociology that no institution,, 
especially, in ancient communities came into 
existence except under the pressure of a felt 
kid much-felt need. What the need in this 
.case was it is difficult to say ( but it is known 
that in the early days of Mahomedan conquest. 


a consummated marriage afforded a protection 
to girls which nothing else did. The Age ol 
Consent was raised to 12 in 1890, and to 13 
two years ago. During the last half-century 
the age of marriage of girls has slowly but 
steadily been on the increase ; and we are con- 
vinced that early consummation of child- 
marrige is at the present day an exception and 
not the rule even in those parts where it was 
common thirty years ago. 


Miss KatJierine Mayors thesis is that India 
owes her miseries not to British rule but to her 
own religious, social, and sexual perversions. 
" The whole pyramid of the Indian's woes, 
material and spiritual, rests upon a rock- 
bottom physical base. This base is, simply, 
his manner of getting into the world and his 
sex-life thenceforward/' Let us take up,-first, 
the point about the Indian's manner of getting 
into life. We shall let Miss Katharine Mayo 
explain what she means by it : " Take a girl 


child twelve years old, a pitiful physical specr- 
men in bone and blood, illiterate, ignorant, 
without any sort of training in habits of health. 
Force motherhood upon her at the earliest 
possible moment etc/' (P. 24) Then again : 
" The Indian girl, in common practice, looks 
for motherhood nine months after reaching 
puberty or anywhere between the ages of 
fourteen and eight. The latter age is extreme, 
although in some cases, not exceptional, the 
former is well above the average. Because of 
her years and upbringing and because 
countless generations behind her have been 
bred even as she, she is frail of body. She is 
also completely unlettered, her stock of know- 
ledge comprising only the ritual of worship of 
the household idols, the rites of placation of 
the wrath of deities and evil spirits, and the 
detailed ceremony of the service of her hus- 
band, who is ritualistically her personal god." 
p. 30). The ignorance, illiteracy, almost reli- 
gious devotion to the husband and superstition 
of the Hindu wife are really irrelevant to Miss 
Jrtayo's indictment of the Indians "manner of 


getting into the world." Many of the world's 
greatest mothers have been just as ignorant, 
illiterate, superstitious and husband-lovers as 
the bulk of the women of India. It has always- 
seemed to us that the picture of the Hebrew 
matron can be applied almost word for word 
to the Indian mother and wife. 

"Who can find a virtuous woman ? For bar price 
! far above rubies. 

The beart of her husband doth safely trust in her,, 
o that he shall have no need of spoil. 

She will do him good and not evil all the days of 
her life. 

She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly 
with her hands. 

She is like the merchant's ship; she bringeth her 
food from afar. 

She risetb also while it is yet night ; and priveth 
meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. 

She considereth a fi'ld, and buyeth it; with the 
fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. 

Sh* girdeth her loins with strength, and strength- 
eneth her arms. 

She percei^eth that her merchsndise is good: her 
candle goeth not out by night. 

She layeth W hinds to the spindle, and her hands 
hold the distaff. 

She fftretoheth out her hand to the poor ; yea, the 
reacheth forth her bands to the needy. 

Her husband is known in the gates, where be tit* 
teth Among the elders of the land. 


8ht maketh fine linen and eelleth it ; and delivcroth 
girdles unto the merchant. 

Strength and honor are her clothing and the shaft 
rejoice in time to come. 

ihe openeth her month with wifdom ; and in her 
tongue it the law of kindness. 

She iooketb well to the wayi of her household, and 
ateth not the bread of idleness. 

Her children arise up, and call her blessed ; her 
husband also, and he praiseth her "(Protwto: 

The Hebrew woman like the Hindu woman 
did not know how to read or write. Neither, 
did the woman of ancient Greece and Rome. 
There is, no doubt, a wide gulf between the 
Hindu woman's feeling for her husband and 
the American woman's. Some one wrote the 
Other day that when it is no uncommon thing 
for a woman to have five husbands in eight 
years, the term 'marriage' ceases to have any 
meaning. But are we quite sure that the 
American marriage is an improvement on the 

Hindu ? Keyserling writes : 

"The possibility of remarrying every year ruins 
marriage much more fundamentally than even the) 
most frequent practice of adultery, for the Utter does 
not at all atfeot marriage as such, but only offends 
against certain of its components, whereas divorce 
lays an axe at its roots. If th* poles are continually 
ehaoged, a durable state of tension cannot develop or 
ondur*. Oonotquentlr, each American women ** 


this characteristic art, as types, either 
Amazons or courtesans, and the men, as husbands* 
ppesr subjugated to such an extent at it otherwise 
found only in polyandrout communities." (Tk* Book 
of Marriage, p. 26). 

We are far from saying that the Hindu 
marriage as it has come to be in practice is the 
ideal of marriage. That is yet to be reached 
an India as in America. It behoves sensible 
people, meanwhile, not to throw stones at 
each other. 

We come next to the question of child 
marriage apart from the literary qualifications 
of mothers and their regard for their husbands. 
No one in his senses wilUdefend child marri- 
ages. The social reformers of India have been 
working for years to get rid of them, not with- 
out success. The Baroda Marriage Law 
Reform Committee, whose report was issued 
last month, stated that child marriages had 
practically ceased among the higher educated 
classes. This is also true of British India 
where the social reform movement has been 
far more vigorous than in Indian States. But 
here, again, Miss Katherine Mayo's dictum 
that a race among which such marriages 


prevail is doomed to perpetual servility is 
easily refuted from history. Child marriages; 
were common among ancient Greeks and 
Romans, and among the Hebfews. Jesus Christ 
was born of an "espoused wife" whose marriage 
with Joseph had not been consummated. 
We reproduced in the Reformer of March 
27, 1926, a review of a book entitled " Home;, 
Life under the Stuarts' 1 by Elizabeth Godfrey, 
which shows that child marriages were com- 
mon in England about the time of the Pilgrim 
Fathers many of whom were, perhaps, born of 
girl-mothers. The, following passage was. 
quoted from the book : 

"It was exceptional for marriage in take place 
absolutely in the nursery, as in the case of little Lady 
Mary Villiers, not only wife, but widow, before she 
WAI nine yean old, but it wai quite a common thing 
for a child to be married at thirteen. In that case she 
was usually given a year or two of education before 
he lived with her husband, and he, if only about 
fifteen or sixteen, often went to Oxford after his 
marriage, or travelled abroad. The large family of 
the Earl of Cork afforded many instances of these 
very early marriages. His eldest daughter, Alice,, 
was married to Lord Barrymore when she was thir- 
teen; the second, Sarah, was only twelve when she 
was contracted to Sir Thomas Moore indeed, the 
negotiations were begun when she was but eight. 
Being left a widow at fourteen she was quickly 
remarried to on* of the Digby family." 


The two feeders of Western civilization, as 
an influence on human character, are the 
Classics and Christianity. If Miss Katherine 
Mayo knew, as every educated (and not merely 
literate) person should, something of the 
history of her own national civilization and 
culture, she would have approached her task of 
interpreting India to America, in a very 
different spirit. 

Let us leave history behind and come to 
contemporary facts. That early marriages in 
this country are not necessarily detrimental to 
physical vigour is the considered opinion of 
Risley and Gait, the joint authors of the Indian 
Census'Report of 1901 . They observe : 

" No one who bat seen a Punjabi regiment march 
past, or has watched the sturdy Jat women lift their 
heavy water-jars at the village well, is likely to hare 
any misgivings as to the effect of their marriage 
system on the physique of the race. Among the 
Rajputs both sexes are of slighter build than the Jat*, 
but here again there are no signs of degeneration. 
The type is different, but that is all/' (Report of the 
Indian census of 1901, p. 433.) 

Jats generally marry at from five to seven 
years of age and Rajputs at fifteen or sixteen 
or even older: but the Rajput couple begins 


at once to co-habit, whereas the parents of the 
Jat girl often find her so useful at home as she 
grows up that some pressure has to be put 
upon them to give her up to her husband, 
and the result is that, for practical purposes, she 
begins her married life later than the Rajput 
bride (quoted from Ibbetson on the same 
page). The Jat system is the normal system, 

* except in certain limited areas and classes 
owing, as we pointed out last week, to histori- 

cal causes, and except in the case of absolutely 
destitute parents who think that their daughters 
will be more comfortably provided for in their 

i husband's homes than in their own. Risley 
and Gait acknowledge that over a great part of 
India the evils of early consummation are 
guarded against, as among the Jats. (P. 434.) 

Bengal was the principal area where Risley 
and Gait found prevalent as a rule among the 
upper classes "the monstrous abuse that die 
girls of the upper classes commence married 
life at the age of nine years, and become 
mothers at the very earliest time that it is 
physically possible for them to do so. 1 ' This 


is not due to the influence of women's tradition 
(as they thought) but to the political condition > 
of the province which made a consummated 
marriage the only safeguard of women's 
honour. However that may be, much water 
has flowed under the bridge since 1901, and 
the fact "'that she (Miss Mayo) had to go to a 
hospital which has a monopoly of such cases 
in the N. E. of India and could get nothing 
more up-to-date than forty years ago (she has 
quoted a dozen cases that were collected in 
1891) shows, if it shows anything at all, that 
such cases are few and far between" (S. S. D. 
in the Nation and Athtn&um of August, 6). 
Owing to the horrible case of a child-wife the 
age of consent was raised in 1890 from 10 to 
12, be it noted, on strong pressure from and 
with the vigorous support of the Indian refor- 
mers, Malabari, Bhandarkar, Ranade, Telang 
and Chandavarkar. Lord Lansdowne in his 
speech in the Indian Legislative Council on 
the Bill generously acknowledged that Govern- 
ment had been greatly encouraged by the 
strong support accorded by these leaders to 


the new legislation. These men, it may be 
further noted, gave their support on the ex- 
press ground that the pre-puberty consumma- 
tion was against the letter and spirit of the 
authoritative Hindu code. Telang and Bhan- 
darkar were eminent Sanskritists and Ranade 
was an acknowledged master of Hindu law. 
It is also fair to the opposition, which was led 
by Tilak who was also an eminent Sanskritist, 
to state that the main ground of it was that an 
alien Government had no right to interfere 
with the socio-religious life of the people, and 
that the Police was so ignorant and corrupt 
that, especially in the rural areas, there was 
serious danger of oppression and blackmail if 
it was given power to interfere with the domes- 
tic life of the people. The enlargement of the 
legislature, with an elected Indian majority, 
has to a large extent met these objections and 
-one of the most gratifying features of the 
MontagtrChelmsford Reforms is the pro- 
portionately larger amount of social legislation 
.introduced or passed during the last six years 
than diiripg the half century previous to them. 


The age of consent was raised two years ago 
to 13 in the case of marriage. There is a strong 
feeling that this is not enough, and the All- 
India Women's Conference has taken upon 
itself the task of organising public opinion in 
support of Sir Hari Singh Gour's Bill to raise 
it to 14, which is the limit to which it has been 
raised as against strangers. The public con- 
science has been aroused, notwithstanding 
the Indian's manner of coming into the world, 
and the last traces of the evil will soon dis- 
appear wherever it exists. There can be no 
more conclusive proof of the fact, illustrated 
by the history of other lands, that political 
progress helps forward social reform. It is 
our considered opinion that the acceleration of 
self-government in India will accelerate the 
pace of social progress, and that without it 
social stagnation is not a distant possibility. 


Miss Katherine Mayo wisely refrains from 
giving statistics regarding the prevalence of 
child marriage in India. If she had done so, it 


would not have helped her to make out, as she 
has done, that child marriage is nearly univer* 
sal among Hindus, and that later marriages are 
the exception. Of 100,000 persons of the 
female sex in the Indian population of all ages 
2,575, or say, 25 per cent, are between 5 
and 15 years of age. (Table I, p. 135, Report 
of Census, 1921.) (We leave infants under 5 
out of account as there are only 15 in a 1,000 
returned under married or widowed, and Miss 
Mayo herself does not suggest that girls under 
5 cohabit with their husbands and are 
forced into maternity). Among Hindus the 
female population between 5 and 15 years is 
2,534 out of 10,000 of all ages. (Table II, 
p. 137. Between these ages, the proportion of 
married (or widowed) girls per 1,000 is 246 for 
all religions and 287 for Hindus, or under 3O 
percent. (Table I, p, 164). By far the largest 
proportion, in fact, the great majority of 
marriages take place when the girls are 15 
years of age or above* It will thus be seen 
that child marriages, taking the country as a 
whole, o; the Hindu community j 


form but a fraction of all marriages, and that 
in the large majority of cases they are mere 
espousals and not marriages in the sense of 
being the commencement of conjugal relations 
between the parties. 

It is in this sense that most Hindus under- 
stand marriage and it is in this sense that 
Rabindranath Tagore was thinking of it when 
he wrote his paper on " The Indian Ideal of 
Marriage " for Count Hermann Keyserling's 
Book of Marriage. Tagore, in the passage 
quoted by Miss Katherine Mayo, was not 
expressing his own view (which he does at the 
end of his paper), but explaining his theory of 
how child marriage originated in India. We 
quote the passage as it occurs in Keyserling's 
book. Says Tagore : 

The desire, however, against which India*! solution 
of the marriage problem declared war, ia one of 
Nature's most powerful fighters; consequently 9 the 
queetion of how to OTercome it was not an easy one. 
r lhere is a particular age t said India,* at which tola 
attraction between the eezee reaches its height : so If 
marriage is to be regulated according to tne social 
will, it must be finished with before such age : Hence 
the Indian Custom of early marriage." (00* of 
. lit). 

(Itmlios except where otherwise stated are ours, 


Miss Katherine Mayo omits the words itali- 
cised, thus making out that these were 
Tagore's own views, " Rabindranath Tagore," 
she writes, " explain^ child marriage as a 
flower of the sublimated spirit, a conquest over 
sexuality and materialism won by exalted 
intellect for the eugenic uplift of the race. His 
conclusion, however, logically implies the con- 
viction, simply, that Indian women must be 
securely bound and delivered before their 
womanhood is upon them, if they are to be 
kept in hand. (Here follows the quotation^. 
In other words, a woman must be married 
before she knows she is one." (Mother India , 
pp. 50, 51.) These inferences are Miss Mayo's, 
not Tagore's. 

" These must have been the lines of 'argu- 
ment ', in regard to married love, pursued in our 
country, 1 ' Tagore continues. " For the pur- 
pose of marriage, spontaneous love is unreli- 
able ; its proper cultivation should yield the 
best results ^> sue ft ivas tlie conclusion and this 
cultivation should begin before marriage. 
Therefore, from their earliest years, the bus- 


band as an idea is held up before our girls,, in 
verse and story, through ceremonial and wor- 
ship. When at length they get this husband, 
he is to them not a person but a principle, like 
loyalty, patriotism or such other abstractions 
which owe their immense strength to the fact 
that the best part of them is our own creation 
and therefore part of our inner being." - (Key- 
set-ling, pp. 112, 113.) 

*' Hard-headed Americans " a description 
which Miss Mayo approvingly adopts for her 
own nationals may not be able to follow the 
poet's abstractions. What he says here in 
abstract propositions was concretely put by 
another eminent Hindu in another part of the 
country who explained to an Englishman the 
difference between the Indian and English 
systems of marriage : " You marry those 
whom you love, 11 he said, "we love those 
whom we marry/' The hardest-headed 
American cannot fail to understand that. 

Tagore sets forth his own ideal of marriage 
in five long pages at the end, of his paper 
{Keyserling, pp. 117 etseq.) /'Let me,' 1 he 


begins, " as an individual Indian, offer in con- 
clusion my own personal contribution to the 
discussion of the marriage question generally. 1 ' 
He holds that the marriage system all over 
the world and not only in India from the 
earliest ages till now is a barrier in the way of 
the true union of man and woman which is 
possible only when " society shall be able to 
offer a large field for the creative work of 
women's special faculty, without detracting 
the creative work in the home." This is clear 
enough even for the hardest-headed American 
to see that the Poet has his own ideal of 
marriage which is neither that of India nor that 
of America. 

Not once but again and again Tagore, as we 
have seen, guards himself against being under- 
stood to identify himself with his hypothetical 
Indian's argument for child marriages. He 
does not stop there. He expressly criticises 
the Indian system as the prime cause of our 
stagnation, Tagore writes : 

In our UuMPiagt w call tb power of woman ow 

man by to* nan* ofshakti. '&*p*tod of *o*tta 
oro Att prooOT in ooitty iMgniihoi, and mam Josta* 


fail vitality, becomes mechanical in hie habits. In 
such a cat*, though he may ttill retain many a passive 
quality, all eaenry of activity forsakes him. The 
manner in which the relations between the sexes have> 
heen regulated in our country has left no room for the 
action of this shakti; for, as we have seen, our society, 
with immoveahle stability as its objective, has been 
busy cultivating the passive qualities? ever in dread 
of individual foroefulnsss. Now that our country has 
awakened to outside influences, she finds herself 
powerless to resist alisn aggression. She has even 
lout the faculty of recognising that her ireofcn*** pro- 
ceeds from within her own social system and t* not 
the outcome of any outward accident* (Keyserling 

p. 116.) 

If Miss Katherine Mayo was not a purblind 
propagandist but an honest enquirer, and if 
she had had the patience to read Tagore's 
essay, she would have seen that he is, in fact, 
pressing home the same conclusion as 
she does, though with a larger vision and, of 
course, from a loftier motive. Tagore, in fact, is 
a thorough-going feminist. He is perhaps 
intellectually nearer the American view of the 
relation _ of the sexes than most Europeans. 
And it is this illustrious Indian that Miss 
Katherine Mayo represents as an apologist for 
the most corrupt form of child marriages ! If 
Miss Mayo was too much pressed for time to 
read the whole of Tagore's essay, she might 


have asked any one in Calcutta what the age of 
marriage of girls is in Tagore's own family. 
The answer would have made her at least 
hesitate before she wrote of " the robes that 
these facts (about child-marriage) can wear 
when arrayed by a poet for foreign considera- 
tion." (Mother India, p. 50.) That she was 
determined to discredit the Poet is evident 
from the next page where she says : " Such 
matter as this, coming as it does from one of 
the most widely known of modern Indian 
writers, may serve to suggest that we of the 
4 material-minded West' shall be misled if we 
too quickly accept the Oriental's phrases as 
making literal pictures of the daily human life 
of which he seems to speak." Miss Mayo 
makes one or two appreciative references to 
that " advanced Indian " Raja Ram Mohan 
Roy. The Poet Tagore's father, was the 
Raja's immediate successor in the apostolic 
line of the Brahmo Samaj. The religious and 
social principles of the Samaj are nowhere 
more beautifully illustrated than in the illustri- 
ous house of Maharshi Devendranath Tagore. 


Miss Katherine Mayo quite needlessly 
puts Mahatma Gandhi in the witness-box to 
support her case. " Mr. Gandhi has re- 
corded/' she writes. " that he lived with his 
wife, as such, when he was thirteen years old, 
and adds that if he had not, unlike his brother 
in similar ca>e, left her presence for a certain 
period each day to go to school, he would 
either have fallen a prey to disease and pre- 
mature death, or have led (thence-forth) a 
burdensome existence." It is forty-five } r ears 
since Mahatmaji wa^ thirteen years old, 
and none of his sons was married until they 
were much more than thirteen years of age. 
What has happened in Mahatmajfs family has 
happened in thousands of homes and his own 
personal experience has only a historical, not 
to say antiquarian, interest to educated 
Indians at the present day- This is not a mere 
personal opinion but borne out by Census 
statistics and testified to in Census reports 
from which we shall quote presently. More- 
over, in dealing with Mahatmaji's confidences 
we should never forget that men who record 


their ' confessions ' after a long interval and 
for the benefit of humanity, are prone, as a rule, 
unconsciously to intensify the shades so as to 
convey their message more impressively to 
posterity. The classic 'Confession' of St. 
Augustine, Rousseau, and even of De Quincey 
on Opium-eating, abundantly bear out this cau- 
tion. Every system has its unwritten conven- 
tions well-understood by those born and 
brought up in it. And the Hindu family sys- 
tem in its integrity was full of hedges and 
fences to keep the child-wife and boy-husband 
apart till they were of age, according to Indian 
ideas, to live together as man and wife. There 
are many men of Mahatmaji's age who can 
testify from personal experience to the 
effectiveness of these safe-guards. 

Miss Mayo is merely impertinent when she 
says that Indians are afraid to face the ugly 
facts in their social life. The accusation will 
bemoretrueofEu ropeans and Americans who, 
oblivious of the beam in their own eyes, con- 
sider it their mission to point out the moat in 
the eyes of distant Asiatics. The Hindu 


reform movement which has existed for nearly 
a hundred years has devoted its attention to 
the evils in Hindu Society. Child-marriage 
in particular has received a great deal of atten- 
tion. The following passage is taken from the 
Census Report of 1901 : 

"Among the better classes a feeling is springing up 
agaiatt it (infant marriage) partly because the 
parents dislike eiposing their daughters to the risk of 
a long period of widowhood and partly because of the 
influence of Western ideas which makes them feel the 
impropriety of imposing upon immature girls the 
duties of a wife and mother. The two most recent 
Hindu sects which appeal to the educated classes 
the Brahrao Saraaj in Bengal and the Arya Samaj in 
Upper fndia lay ereat stress on the desirability of 
allowing girls to reach maturity as virgins. The 
Social Conference which holds its meetings annually 
in connection with the National Congress has made 
the abolition of eh i Id-marriage one of the leading 
planks in its platform, and it is aided in its propaganda 
by the difficulties, already referred to, which many of 
the higher castes at present experience in finding bis- 
bands for their girls." (Census of India, 1901, p. 443). 

The subsequent Census Reports show that 
there has been a steady though gradual rise in 
the age of marriage. In the Census Report for 
1911, Mr. Gait points out that the high castes 
are usually far less prone to infant marriage 
than the low. (Page 268). He writes : 

'The practice has been denounced by many social 
reformers since Mr. Malabar! opened the oampaif 


a quarter of a century -ago ; and the Social Con- 
ference which holdi its meetings anuually ia con- 
nection with the National Congress has made 
the abolition of child marriage one of the leading: 
planks in its platform. It is, as we have s*en, 
strongly discouraged fty the Brahnv** ia Bengal 
and the Aryas in Northern India. The more enligh- 
tened members of the higher caste*, who do not 
allow widow* to remarry, are beginning to realize 
how wrong it is to expose their daughters to the rik 
of lifelong widowhood, and a feeling against infant 
marriage is chuM ftprinifing up amongst them/' (Cen- 
sus of India, 1911. page 271). 

Miss Mayo, we see, refers to the Census- 
Report for 1921. But as usual she leaves out 
everything that does not suit her purpose. 
Commenting on the statistics, the Report says:- 

Whatever be the o*\ue5 to wh ch th change may 
be attributed, the figures clearly show an increase- 
in the numbers of thoe in the early age-C4'egorie 
who are still numbers of those in th* early age- 
categories who are util 1 unmarriei. The movement 
is most marked in the Hindu community, but is 
shared by the other religion*, the change heinar less- 
noticeable among the Buddhist and Christian c >m- 
munities who are not addicted to early marriage. 
The change is most conspicuous in the age cate- 
gories 10 to 15 for women and 10 t) 20 for men. 
Some analysis of the regional and communal figures 
will be of interest. In Bengal and Bihar and Oinsa 
the rise in the age of marriage is marked. The 
number of males left unmarried between the gea of 
10 and 15 has risen from 876 in 1891 to 68 in 1921. 
the increase in the age-period 15 to SO being from 594 
to 665. The case of girls is still more striking, the 
figures being gireo in the marginal taMes, and for 
both males said females the rise during the last 


decade has been exceptionally high.*' (Census of 
/ndta.1921, page 159). 

It is remarked that the Vaidyas and 
Brahmans, the two great Hindu literary and 
professional castes of Bengal, take the lead 
in postponing the age of marriage of both boys 
and girls. We shall have to say something on 
these figures in the next article. But we ask. 
the reader to note two points : the larger pre- 
valence of child marriage among the less 
advanced than among the educated middle 
classes ; and the striking progress in Bengal, 
and especially among professional classes, 
which Miss Mayo has marked out of special 


The quotations which we made from Census 
Reports in the last issue clearly show that 
child-marriages are steadily becoming things 
of the past and that the progress is greatest 
among the higher and educated classes. The 
inference is plain. The spread of education* 
and the improvement of economic conditions 


'both of which will be the first and foremost 
'task of a National Indian Government will 
lead to the same result among all sections of 
the population* The very conservatism of the 
Hindu community will prove to be of great 
- assistance in accelerating the reform. If its great 
mass makes it difficult to move, once started it 
gathers at every step momentum at an enorm- 
ous rate and all thoughtful Indian reformers 
'have, therefore, preferred the method of small 
beginnings to what are known as "knock- 
down** methods. If Miss Katherine Mayo 
had the least acquaintance with comparative 
studies in sociology, she would not have made 
the stupid mistake of representing child- 
marriage as an inevitable and ineradicable 
^incident of Hindu society and Hindu religion. 
Child-marriage, as we have shown in previous 
-articles, prevailed in ancient Greece and Rome, 
and in Stuart England when the Pilgrim 
SFathers sailed in search of religious freedom 
to the New World. " A very important cause 
of the decline of the marriage rate and the 
rise of the age for marriage in Europe/* 


says Westermarck in his History of Human- 
Afarriage, il is the difficulty of supporting a 
family in modern society." The same difficul- 
ty is also operating in India at the present day 
with increasing severity. A modern writer, 
whom Westermarck quotes approvingly, 
points out that "by the general diffusion of 
education and culture, by the new inventions 
and discoveries of the age, by the increase of 
commerce and intercourse and wealth, the 
tastes of men and women have become widen- 
ed, their desires multiplied, new gratifications 
and pleasures have been supplied to them. 
By this increase of the gratifications of existence 
the relative share of them which married life 
affords has become just so much less. The 
domestic circle does not fill so large a place in 
life as formerly. It is really less important to 
either man or woman. Married life has lost in 
some measure its advantage over a single life. 
There are so many pleasures, now, that they 
can be enjoyed as well or even better in 
celibacy/' (The History of Human Marriage,. 
Vol. I, p. 393). Serious thinkers in the West 


are much exercised in mind as to whether this 
result is altogether good for the community. 
But it is true that the wide prevalence of child 
and compulsory marriages is incompatible 
with a high standard of life and a rise in the 
standard of life is bound directly to lead to an 
improvement in the age and voluntary character 
of marriage. The slow rate at which the 
standard of life in India moves upward is due 
to economic causes for which the political 
system cannot be absolved, inspite of Miss 
Katherine Mayo's pragmatism, of a large mea- 
sure of responsibility. We do not, however, 
wish to go into that large question at this point. 
What we are immediately concerned with is 
-to repudiate with all the emphasis which we 
command Miss Katherine Mayo's attempt to 
make the prevalence of child marriages in 
India a justification for the perpetuation of 
White domination and to pour contempt on the 
national character and aspirations of the Indian 

In quoting the passage from the Census 
iReport of India for 1921 relating to the age of 


marriage, we called special attention to the 
testimony to its noteworthy rise in Bengal and 
particularly among the Brahman and Vaidya 
castes, which are the two most literary castes 
in the province. We did this not only because 
most of Miss Katherine Mayo's hospital cases 
are derived from Bengal, but because she has 
chosen to pour a special measure of her venom 
upon that province and its people. She 

writes : 

Bengal it the seat of bitterest political unrest the 
producer of India's main crop of anarchists, bomb- 
throwers and assassins. Bengal is also timong the 
most sexuiOly exaggerated regions of India ; and 
medical and police authorities in any country observe 
the link between that quality and * queer * criminal 
minds the exhaustion of normal avenues of excite- 
ment creating a thirst and a search in the abnormal 
for gratification. But Bengal is also the stronghold 
of strict purdah, and one cannot but speculate as to 
how many explosions of eccentric crime in which the 
young politicals of Bengal have indulged, were given 
the detonating touch by the unspeakable flatness of 
their purdah deadened home lives made the more irk- 
some by tbeir own half-digested dose of foreign 
doctrines. ( Mother India, p. 118.) 

It is strange is it not ? that this (accord- 
ing to Miss Mayo) God-forsaken province 
should have produced during this last century 
the largest number of great Indians who have 
attained an international reputation.- Raja 


Ram Mohan Roy, Maharshi Devendranath 
Tagore, Sri Rama Krishna Paramahamsa r 
Keshub Chandra Sen, Swami Vivekananda in 
the sphere of religion ; Michael Madhusudan 
Dutt, Toru Dutt, Rabindranath Tagore, Saro- 
jini Naidu in the region of poetry ; Sir Jagadis 
Chander Bose and Sir P. C. Ray in the realm 
of science ; Sir Surendranath Banerjee, Lord 
Sinha, and Chittaranjan Das in politics ; Sir 
Gurudas Banerjee and Sir Ashutosh Mukerjee 
in education. What a brilliant galaxy to 
spring out of the muck of Miss Katherine 
Mayo's " most sexually exaggerated pro- 
vince " ! Even New York and Chicago, we 
fancy, bave not produced greater men in so 
many spheres and in comparatively so short a 

Miss Katherine Mayo merely repeats, 
though she may not be conscious of it r 
the tittle-tattle of Anglo-India when she 
brackets together the political unrest ia 
Bengal and what she calls the sexual exagger- 
ation of that province. The Anglo-Saxon 
has many great qualities but he has one 


peculiarly odious and, indeed, contemptible 
vice, and it is to impute to political and national 
rivals the most obscene forms of personal im- 
morality. So long as a man or a nation does- 
not cross his path, he will cheerfully condone 
and even join in their jovial exploits, but the 
moment that he thinks his interests are men- 
aced, he will at once assume the attitude of a 
stern moralist towards the peccadilloes of his 
erstwhile comrades and boon companions. In 
pursuance of this racial weakness the Indian 
political extremist of the Partition days was 
described as a sexual pervert. Those who 
knew him laughed at this description, but very 
few outside Calcutta, or, at most, Bengal knew 
anything of him. We ourselves did not realise 
the full extent of this calumny until we had 
unimpeachable testimony to its utter falsity. 
The late Sir Narayan Chandavarkar with 
Mr. Justice Beachcroft was appointed by the 
Government of India to examine the cases of 
some scores of men, mostly students, who 
were held in confinement for alleged compli- 
city in anarchist doings. The committee, we 1 


think, personally interviewed some of them. 
Its proceedings were private, but this writer 
distinctly remembers Sir Narayan, when he 
returned from Calcutta, telling him that the 
talk about the degeneracy of these boys was 
pure bunkum. On the contrary, they had, he 
said in effect, made a religion of physical fit- 
ness. The Gita was their manual of conduct 
and devotion, and hard physical exercise was 
a regular part of their daily discipline. Miss 
Katherine Mayo need not have come all the 
way to India to verify the observation of medi- 
cal and police authorities about "the exhaus- 
tion of normal avenues of excitement creating 
a thirst and a search in the abnormal for grati- 
fication." "Mother India/' we fancy, had its 
origin in such a thirst leading to such a search. 
The muck is in Miss Katherine Mayo's mind 
more than in Bengal or any other part of India, 
though, of course, India like every other part 
of the world is compounded of mud and sky. 
v We lhave thus far dealt with Miss Katherine 
Mayo's dictum that the woes of India spring 
ftom the Indian's manner of getting into the- 

world. We have shown that this manner is 
not essentially different from that of other 
races and nations ; that child marriage with the 
safe-guards associated with it in all but a veiy 
small number of cases, has not been a cause of 
race degeneration ; that all over the country and 
more particulary in Bengal and among the 
"Babus" the age of marriage has been rapidly 
rising ; that Miss Katherine Mayo has, by 
omitting his reservations, misrepresented the 
Poet Tagore as having evolvfed in order to 
mislead Western leaders a sort of poetic 
philosophy in justification of child marriages. 
This habit of misrepresentation, indeed, seems 
to be a large part of Miss Katherine Mayo's 
literary equipment. The Rev. Popley in an 
article in the Indian Witness, the American 
Methodist weekly published in Lucknow, 
reports that Miss Bose, the Principal ot Victoria 
College at Lahore, repudiates the statements 
attributed to her in Miss Katherine Mayo's 
book as having been made by her in a perso- 
nal interview, Mahatma Gandhi likewise in 
tte^.course of in article in Young faK* offers 

a similar disavowal. Mahatmaji writes : "In 
her hurry to see everything Indian in a bad 
light, she has not only taken liberty with my 
writings, but she has not thought it necessary 
even to verify through me certain things as- 
cribed by her or others to me. In fact she 
has combined in her person what we under- 
stand in India by the judicial and executive 
officer. She is both the prosecutor and the 
judge." Readers of Miss Katherine Mayo's 
book will have constantly to be on their 
guard against accepting without verification 
her statements. She is a witness who takes 
liberties with truth. In the next and follow- 
ing articles we shall deal with her allegations 
regarding the Indian's ' 'sex-life, 11 which are 
far more atrocious and far more flagrantly 
false than those about the Indian's manner of 
getting into the world. 


Miss Katherine Mayo makes a number of 
allegations as typical of the Indian's sex-life 
from the time of his getting into the world. 


She begins with the Hindu religion. "Shiva, 
one of the greatest of the Hindu deities," she 
writes, "is represented, on high road shrines, 
or the little altar of the home, or in personal 
amulets, by the image of the male generative 
organ, in which shape he receives the daily 
sacrifices of the devout. The followers of 
Vishnu, multitudinous in the south, from 
their childhood wear painted upon their fore- 
heads the sign of the function of generation. 
And although it is accepted that the ancient 
inventors of these and kindred emblems inten- 
ded them as aids to the climbing of spiritual 
heights, practice and extremely detailed narra- 
tive of the intimacies of the gods, preserved in 
the hymns of the fireside, give them literal 
meaning and suggestive power, as well as 
religious sanction in the common mind." 
(p. 31) Miss Mayo cites Abbe Dubois 
as her authority for the meaning of the religious 
symbols and for the view that they operate 
as a constant reminder of the sexual func- 
tion to the Hindu mind. The origin of 
religious symbols may interest antiquarians 


but its value as evidence of the moral in^ 
fluence oi a religion at a given time, is very^ 
small. We have before us a little book, The 
Mystery of the Circle and the Cross* by Francis. 
Swiney, in which the evolution of religious, 
symbols is traced from their hieroglyphic, 
beginnings. The Cross like the Linga, accord- 
ing to this writer, had a phallic origin. But no 
Christian to-day is reminded by the Cross of 
the male organ of fertilisation. Neither is the 
Hindu by the Linga. Miss Katherine Mayo, 
had she consulted any less biassed source, 
would have found that the Abbe's assumption 
has no basis in fact. A better equipped 
American traveller than Miss Mayo who spent 
the best part of a year (1913-14) in India and 
has written what is, perhaps, the best book on 
the Religious Faiths of India, Professor James 
Bisset Pratt, wrote of the Linga: "Phallic 
symbols are common the world over, and this 
one like the rest, probably originated as the 
emblem of some primitive god of procreation. 
At any rate, Shiva and his lingam has for nearly 


all his worshippers quite lost all sexual signifi- 
cance and is simply the object in which 
Mahadeva, the great God, chooses to incarnate 
himself for purposes of worship/' (India and 
its Faiths'. Houghton, Mifflin Co,, p. 17). 
Monier Williams whose book is "an account of 
the religions of the Indian peoples, based on a* 
life's study of their literature and on personal 
investigation in their own country/ 1 says of 
the Linga that it is, "never in the mind of a 
Saiva connected with indecent ideas nor with' 
sexual love." (Religious Thought and Life in 
India. Footnote to p. 68.) 

Hindu exponents of Saivism deny the phallic 
origin of the linga. Swami Vivekananda, 
whom Miss Katherine Mayo contemptuously 
dismisses as "a modern teacher of the spiritual 
sense of the Phallic cult," attributed the phallic 
interpretation to the inveterate tendency of the 
Westerner to look at things from the physi- 
cal and objective side. That great authority 
on Indian Art, Dr. Ananda Coomaraswami, 
approaching the question from a different point 
of view, has also repudiated the phallic theory 


of the origin of the Linga. Whatever may be 
the truth regarding its origin, there can be no 
more conclusive proof of the absence of any 
phallicism in the conception of the Linga for 
long centuries than that the Siva cult, of 
which the linga is still the great symbol, has 
on the admission of Christian missionary writers, 
produced a devotional literature unsurpassed 
for its fervour of faith. " No cult in the world,'* 
says Dr. Barnett, 4i has produced a richer 
devotional literature or one more instinct with 
brilliance of imagination, fervour of feeling, 
and grace of expression." (Heart of India, 
p. 80, quoted by Dr. Macnicol in his " Indian 
Theism.") Of Manikka- Vasagar, the great poet- 
saint of Saivism, Dr. Macnicol himself writes: 
" Throughout his poems there is such an 
accent of humility and adoration, such a sense 
of his unworthiness and of the divine grace, as 
seems to bring him very near indeed to the 
spirit of the Christian Saints. Again and 
again we find Manikka- Vasagar giving utterance 
to such experiences as are common to all 
devout souls who have sought God sincerely 


and have in some measure found Him. 1 * 
{Indian Theism, p, 173). " From his Manikka- 
Vasagar's time," writes Dr. G. U. Pope, the 
great Tamil scholar, " dates the foundation of 
that vast multitude of Saiva shrines which con- 
stitute a peculiar feature of the Tamil country." 
It would be strange indeed if such rare devo- 
tion had centred round a phallic symbol ! 

Miss Katherine Mayo's interpretation of the 
Vaishnava caste-mark is also based upon Abbe 
Dubois. But the meaning which the Abbe 
read into the naiuaw is his own invention. 
Prof. H. H. Wilson, an admitted authority on 
the subject, in his book, '' Religious Sects of 
the Hindus, " says that this mark is "supposed 
to represent the sankhu, shell, the discus, the 
club and the lotus, which Vishnu bears in his 
four hands." i The Rev. H. A. Popley in the 
Indian Witness of Sept. 7.) Monier Williams 
in his " Religious Thought and Life in India," 
says that the Vaishnava mark denotes the im- 
press of the God Vishnu's feet (p. 400.) 'This 
mark is said to represent the foot of Vishnu/' 
observes the Rev. J, E. Padfield in his very 

detailed study of The Hindu at Home. (Madras 
S.P.C.K. Depository, 1908). "The central 
mark is in honour of Lakshmi, the wife of 
Vishnu, and is called Srichurnam, the whole 
forming a trident/' (p. 75, Second Edition). 
Mr. Padfield was C. M. S. Missionary at 
Masulipatam, and his work, lie says in the 
Preface, " represents the results of personal 
observations during a period of twenty-seven 
years spent in South India, when I was in daily 
intercourse with the people of the land." 
Mr. Padfield concludes his chapter on " The 
Hindu Sacred Marks" with the remark that 
" these various details remind us of the 
Christian mark, the mark of the Cross made 
upon the forehead at Baptism, or of that 
seal mentioned in the book of Revelation where 
the angel "Sealed the servants of our God 
in the forehead. 1 ' (p. 81). 

Though Miss Katherme Mayo started by 
declaring that she would leave untouched the 
realms of religion, her strongest attack is 
directed against the religion of the Hindus and 


her almost sole authority in this campaign is the** 
Abbe Dubois. Here is another instance : 

In cait however, of the continued failure of the wife 
any wifeto give him a child, the Hindu huabaod 
hai a last recourse; he may tend hii wife on a pilgri- 
mage to a temple, bearing gift*. And, it if affirmed, 
tome onatea habitually save time by doing thia on the 
first night after the marriage. At the temple, by day, 
the woman must beeeeoh the God for a eon. and at 
night abe muat sleep within the aaored preoinote. 
Morning come, ahe hfia a tale to tell ihe priest of what 
bafell her under the darkneea. 

'Give praise, O daughter of honour/ he replies, * It 
waj tfie.God.' 

And so abe returna to her home . If a child cornea, . 
and it live*, a ye*r later she reviaita the temple, carry- 
ing with other gift*, the hair from her ohild'e head." 
(Mother India, p. 37.) 

The authority for this story is again Abbe 
Dubois, but it might have been Boccacio who 
inspired the Abbe with the idea. "Friar 
Alberto makes a woman believe that the 
Archangel Gabriel is in love with her and visits 
her several times at night under that pretence/* 
The smug immoralities of the monastic orders 
of the Church of which the Abbe Dubois was 
such a shining light, is a frequent theme not 
only of the great Italian, but of several subse- 
quent writers. Abbe Dubois did not come to * 
this country because he felt a call to do so. 


According to his own statement, he fled from 
*the horrors of the French Revolution. " Had 
I remained/ 1 he writes, " I should in all pro- 
bability have fallen a victim, as did so many of 
my friends who held the same religious and 
political opinions as myself." The corruption 
and licentiousness of the clergy was one of the 
-causes of the French Revolution which made a 
clean sweep of the Christian Deity and installed 
the Goddess of Reason instead. Many of 
Abbe Dubois' " observations " on Hindu reli- 
gion are merely his reading into it of the things 
he had known of the religious in his own 
country. The story of childless wives going 
to temples to be visited at night by God in the 
person of a priest, is distinctly a reminiscence 
.from the Abbe's Seminary days. The Abbe's 
life in India was in keeping with his train- 
ing. He was an impostor from first to 
.last and that of deliberate purpose. *' I 
had no sooner arrived amongst the natives 
of India," he writes, "than I recognised 
the absolute necessity of gaining their con- 
fidence. Accordingly I made it my constant 


rule to live as they did. I adopted their 
style of clothing, and I studied their customs* 
and methods of life in order to be exactly 
like them. I even went so far as to avoid any 
display of repugnance to the majority of their 
peculiar prejudices. By such circumspect con- 
duct I was able to ensure a free and hearty 
welcome from people of all castes and condi- 
tions, and was often favoured of their own 
accord with the most curious and interesting 
particulars about themselves/ * Notwithstand- 
ing all this camouflage, the Abbe's work as a 
Christian Missionary was, on his own admis- 
sion, a humiliating failure. "The restraints 
and privations under which I have lived," he 
wrote, ''by conforming myself to the usages of 
the country ; embracing, in many respects, the 
prejudices of the natives ; living like them, and 
becoming all but a Hindu myself ; in short, by 
being made all things to all men that I might 
by all means save some all these have proved 1 
of no avail to make me proselytes. During 
the long period I have lived in India, in the 
capacity of a missionary, I have made, with the 


. assistance of a native missionary, in all between 
two and three hundred converts of both sexes. 
Of this number two thirds were Pariahs or 
beggars; and the rest were composed of 
Sudras, vagrants, outcastes of several tribes, 
who being without resources, turned Christian 
in order to form connexions, chiefly for the 
purpose of marriage, or with some other in- 
terested views." (Editor's Introduction to 
Third Edition, pp, xxvi, xxvii.) The Abbe, 
foiled in his missionary work, thought of 
serving Christianity in another way. He 

''There is one motive which above all others 
has influenced my determination (to write the 
book). It struck me that a faithful picture of 
the wickedness and incongruities of polytheism 
and idolatry would by its very ugliness help 
greatly to set off the beauties and perfec- 
tions of Christianity. It was thus that the 
Lacedaemonians placed drunken slaves in the 
sight of their children in order to inspire the 
iatter with a horror of intemperance." (Author's 


It is astonishing that in spite of this candid 
avowal of the Abbe that his main object in 
writing his book was to set off the excellences 
of Christianity against the wickedness of 
Hinduism, it should be accepted as a reliable 
account of Hindu manners and customs. The 
period during which the Abbe lived in India 
was also the period of greatest rivalry between 
the British and the French. The fact that 
the Abbe retired with a pension from the 
British East India Company "in recognition of 
many services he had rendered in India, 1 * may 
be regarded either as a testimony to the 
disinterested generosity of the East India Com- 
pany or to the judicious patriotism of the 
Abbe himself. 

The Abbe's book is on the same plane of 
reliability as Miss Katherine Mayo's. Both 
bring a strong preconceived bias to their task* 
The Abbe was a fanatic and futile propagandist 
for Christianity; Miss Mayo is the equally 
fanatic apostle (professer) of White domina- 
tion* In fact, believer^ in reincarnation inajr 
think that the sanctimonious Abbe of a ncntmy 


ago has been reborn as the American Sanitary 
missionary of our time. 

Some critics of Miss Mayo' s book give her 
credit for being a trained observer. No train- 
ed observer will accept, without verification 
from other sources, statements of a gross 
character contained in a book avowedly 
intended to damn one religion for the glorifica- 
tion of another, as Miss Mayo has done not 
once but repeatedly. 


We devoted a large part of our article last 
week and we have to do so this week also, to 
show that Abbe Dubois is an inveterately pre- 
judiced and utterly untrustworthy chronicler of 
Hindu customs and manners. This we are 
obliged to do because, for most of the worst 
libels on Hindu social and religious practices 
in Miss Katherine Mayo's book, the Abbe is 
almost the only authority. We quoted last 
week from the Abbe's own Preface the avowal 
of his motive for writing the book. The 
passage will bear repetition. He says; "There 


is one motive which above all others has 
influenced my determination. It struck me 
that a faithful picture of the wickedness and 
incongruities of polytheism and idolatry would 
by its very ugliness help greatly to set off the 
beauties and perfections of Christianity. It 
was thus that the Lacedaemonians placed 
drunken slaves in the sight of their children in 
order to inspire the latter with a horror of 

Suppose a Hindu were to spend some years 
in the United States with a like motive to 
produce a faithful picture of the wickedness 
and incongruities of Mammon-worship so that 
by its very ugliness it may help greatly to set 
off the beauties and perfections of the Vedanta, 
no serious student of American culture and 
civilisation would think of relying on him as an 
authority on the subject. The Abbe's book is 
the last source to which any foreigner, after 
reading this candid avowal, should look for a 
true and faithful account of Hindu manners and 
customs. Mahatma Gandhi has likened the 
author of "Mother India" to a drain inspector ; 


the Abbe Dubois was a veritable scavenger of 
social filth. 

We showed last week, how the Abbe's state* 
ments regarding the significance to Hindus 
of the sacred symbols of Hinduism ar contra- 
dicted by Hindu authorities and by Europeans 
like H. H. Wilson, Monier Williams and J. E. 
Padfield, who spent the greater part of their 
life in India. 

We shall now cite the views of an eminent 
Englishman who was in India about the same 
period and whose labours covered nearly the 
same part of the country as the Abbe Dubois'. 
Sir Thomas Munro arrived in India as a boy 
of 19 years in 1780 and rose to be Governor of 
Madras and died of cholera, while about to lay 
down that office, at Gooty in 1827. Though 
he began life as a military officer, his greatest 
work was done in the capacity of a civil and 
revenue administrator. He spoke the verna- 
culars fluently. His manner of life. maybe 
judged from the following passage relating to 
his early days in India from Arbuthnot's 
Memoir prefixed to "Selections from. his 


(Munro's) Minutes and other official writings.'* 
"Munro says in one of his letters written after 
he had been nine years in the country, that he 
had 'never experienced hunger or thirst, fatigue 
or poverty 1 until he came to India ; but that 
since then he had frequently met with the first 
three, and the last had been his constant com- 
panion. He was three years in India before 
he was 'master of any other pillow than a book 
or cartridge-pouch ; his bed was a piece of 
canvass stuck on four cross sticks', and the 
greater part of his journeys he had to make on 
foot ; the only horse he possessed being so old 
that he was always obliged to walk two-thirds 
of the way. 7 * (p. xxxiii, Kegan Paul, London). 

Official position in India in those days was 
very different from what it is to-day. Munro 
lived among the people, but as their friend and 
protector. The people loved him. A striking 
proof of their affection is given by Wilkes in his 
" Sketches of the South of India." " I will not 
deny myself," he writes, " the pleasure of stat- 
ing an incident related to me by a respectable 
public servant of the Government of Mysort, 


who was sent in 1807 to assist in the adjust- 
ment of a disputed boundary between that 
territory and the district in charge of the 
Collector. A violent dispute occurred in his 
presence between some villagers, and the party 
aggrieved threatened to go to Anantapur and 
complain to their father. He perceived that 
Colonel Munro was meant, and found upon 
inquiry that he was generally distinguished 
throughout the district k by that appellation.'* 
{Arbitthnofs Memoir, p. cxix, cxx.) 

Sir Thomas Munro was what we should now 
rail an Indian Nationalist. He constantly 
protested against the supersession of Indians 
by Europeans in responsible offices, against 
increasing the number of European officers in 
the Indian Army, against the unrestricted 
influx of Europeans into the country, and 
strongly favoured the retention and develop- 
ment of the ancient village community as the 
basis and foundation of the British Indian ad- 
ministration. Sir Valentine Chlrol contrasts 
Munro' s Indian policy with that of Lord Cur* 
son. "To htm (Curzon) England's mission in 


India was not as it had been for Sir Thomas 
Munro, eighty years earlier, to train the Indians 
to govern and to protect themselves. Lord 
Curzon preferred to govern her himself." 
(Jndia^. 115.) 

This digression is necessary because it may 
be generally thought that, as Munro was an 
official, he would have had less opportunities 
of coming in close contact with the people 
than a missionary like Abbe Dubois. That 
may be so in these days but in the beginning 
of the last century things were far otherwise. 
While the Abbe's information was mostly 
gathered from the two or three hundred of the 
riff-ratYof the population which he had gather- 
ed into his fold, Munro's intercourse extended 
to all classes, the official and literate class, the 
merchants and traders, and most of all, the 
peasantry. His estimate of the Hindu charac- 
ter and manners is therefore entitled to far 
greater weight than that of the Abbe. In fact, 
the Abbe's book seems to have carried very 
little weight with contemporary British states* 
The first translation was published by~ 


the East India Company in 1817 and in 1833 
all offices were thrown open to natives of India 
without distinction of cast^ or creed. In the 
debates in Parliament, which were on a high 
level, no speaker seems to have referred to the 
Abbe's book even casually though other 
writers were profusely cited. The Marquess 
of Lansdowne the great Whig leader and 
Minister, speaking in the House of Lords said 
that he would select only two from among 
the crowd of witnesses as well calculated to 
form a correct judgment on Hindu character, 
Sir Thomas Munro and Bishop Heber. 

To the Abbe Dubois, and even more to Miss 
Katherine Mayo, the Hindus are a nation of 
imbeciles, incapable of and unfit for self- 
government, who ought to be perpetually kept 
tinder European domination. That was not 
the opinion of Sir Thomas Munro and of 
Bishop Heber. Sir Thomas Munro, speaking 
of the Hindus, declared that there was no 
reason to believe that the Hindus were inferior 
to the Europeans in natural talent The 
Bishop said of them that " they were constrtn* 


lion ally kind-hearted, industrious, sober and 
peaceable ; at the same time that they show 
themselves, on proper occasions, a manly and 
courageous people." 

Sir Thomas Munro, before a Select Com' 
mittee of the Commons, gave his estimate of 
Hindu civilization in the following terms : 

"I do not exactly understand what in meant by the 
civilization of the Hindus. In the higher branches of 
science, in the knowledge of the theory and practice of 
good government, and in an education which by banning 
prejudice and superstition, opens the mind to receive 
instruction of every kind from every quarter, they are 
much inferior to European*. But if a good system of 
agriculture, unrivalled manufacturing skill, capacity 
to produce whatever can contribute to either con* 
vnience or luxury, schools established in every village 
for teaching reading, writing and nrith-uetie, the- 
general practice of hospitality and charity amongst 
each other, and, Above all, a treatment, of the female 
aex, full of confidence, respect and delicacy are 
among the signs which denote a civilised people then 
the Hindus are not inferior to the nations of Earop* 
and if civilisation is to become an article of trail* 
between the two countries, I am convinced that this 
country (England) will gain by the import cargo.** 

Sir Thomas Munro was specially anxious 
that there should be no misunderstanding 
about Hindu women. He said : 

in m former part of my evidence in 'peaking of 
H|ad*i women, I m*ntion*d the custom of their bath* 
U* in public t European station* : this statement 
mar perhaps leave an unfavourable imprestion of 
their demeanour, but there fa no man who has be* 


in India but mutt maintain that nothing can be more 
modest than tbtir behaviour, tbat tbey confide to it on 
all occasions for tbtir protection from intuit, and are 
seldom deceived. It would be no slight praise to the 
women ef any nation, n-t even to tbe ladies -f 
England, to have it said that the correctness of tbeir 
conduct waa n*t inferior 1 1 that of tbe Brahmin 
women and the Hindu women of the higher olaiaes. 

Even such a hostile witness as the Abbe 
Dubois is obliged to admit that Hindu women 
were treated with the greatest (Consideration at 
least in public. In the first translation of his 
work published in 1817 by the East India 
Company occurred the following passage : 

But, degraded at the Hindu women are in private 
life, it mutt be admitted that they receive the highett 
respect in public. They certainly do not pay them 
thoee flat and frlvoloue compliment! which are uted 
amongst us, and which are the disgrace of both sexes ; 
bat on tbe other hand, they have no inaulta to dretd. 
A woman may go wheresoever she pie tees ; she mny 
walk in the most public places (must I except thone 
where the Europeans abound ?) and have nothing to 
fear from libertines numerous at they are in the 
country. A man who should stop to gaze on a woman 
in the street or elsewhere, would be universally hoot- 
ed as an insolent and a most low-bred fellow.** (p. 200, 
1817 edition.) 

In the revised version from which the late 
Mr. Beauchamp made the present translation 
in 1897, and from the third edition of which 
Miss Mayo makes her citations, the uncompli- 
mentary reflections on contemporary European 


manner* are carefully omitted. The passage 
is recast as under : 

But if women enjoy very little consideration in 
private life, they are in eome degree compensated by 
the respect which is paid to them in public. They do 
oot. it u true, receive those insipid compliments whioh 
we have agreed to consider polite; bit then, on the 
otherfhand, they are safe from the risk of insult. A 
Hindu woman can fro anywhere alone, even in the 
most crowded places, and she need never fear the 
impertinent looks and jokes of idle loungers. This 
appears to me to be really remarkable in a country 
where the moral depravity of inhabitants is carried to 
ich lengths. \ house inhabited solely by women it a 
ancillary which the most shamoleM libertine would 
nut dream of violating, (pp. 339-340.) 

A Japanese artist who has spent the greater 
part of his life in England wrote some years ago 
a book on English manners and customs. 
Contrasting the English and Japanese treat- 
ment of women, he said : " We kiss them in 
private and kick them in public ; you kiss 
them in public and kick them in private.' 1 The 
Abbe Dubois seems likewise to suggest, that 
the deference paid to Hindu women in public 
was not the result of a real respect for them. 

The deliberate disingenuousness of Miss 
{Catherine Mayo is clear from the fact that in 
all her several references to the Abbe Dubois* 
book, she not once tells the reader that the 


manuscript of the book was submitted to the 
East India Company in 1807, and that the 
account in it relates to a period separated from 
our time by a century and a quarter. In one 
place at least she implies that the account 
relates to a period not very remote from 
ours. We refer to her statement that the 
Abbe found " this ancient law (relating to 
the behaviour of a wife towards her husband) 
still the code of nineteenth century Hinduism?* 
(p. 74), while the greater part of the Abbe's 
Indian career belongs to the eighteenth century ^ 
It may be nothing to Miss Katharine Mayo to 
skip over a century in order to achieve her pur- 
pose of blackening the Hindus in the eyes of 
the world, but one might ask what the position 
of women and social conditions were generally 
in Europe or even in Miss Mayo's own country 
a hundred years ago* But comparisons are 


We may quote one more passage from the 
Abbe'* book to show how women's honour 


was greatly respected in India even in what in 
the West would be regarded as trying circum- 
stances. The Abbe writes : 

I have often spent the night in ona of the common 
rest-houses where the men and women lodging there 
lying all huddled together anyhow, and almost side 
by side ; but have never known or beard of anyone 
disturbing the tranquillity of the night by indecent act 
or word. Should any per* on be so ill-advkted as to 
attempt anything of the tort, the whole room would 
be up m arena gaint him in a moment, and prompt 
chastisement would follow the offence, (p. 340). 

We wonder whether the Abbe could have 
said such a thing of Chicago or New York. 

If the Abbe Dubois was an impartial 
observer and not an atrabilious fanatic, he 
would have realised that the respect paid to 
women in public by Hindus was inconsistent 
with the degraded position which, according to 
him, was normally assigned to them in 
private. There can be no question that the 
Hindus of his time were posing before the 
Abbe, He himself repeatedly says in his book 
that the Hindus of his time had a great con- 
tempt for Europeans and it is, therefore, 
improbable that they would have gone out of 
their way to pretend a respect for women* 


which they did not feel in order to win the 
.praise of the Abbe. Not only were Europeans 
held in contempt but Christianity itself was, on 
their account, brought into contempt Writing 
of the disrepute into which Christianity had 
fallen among Hindus in his time, he attributes 
it to the conquest of the country by Europeans, 
" a disastrous event as far as the advance of 
Christianity was concerned.' 1 He writes : 
"Having witnessed the immoral and disorderly 
conduct of the Europeans who then over-ran 
the whole country, the Hindus would hear 
no more of a religion which appeared to 
have so little influence over the behaviour 
of those professing it and who had been 
brought up in its tenets ; and their prejudice 
against Christianity has gone on increasing 
steadily day by day, as the people became more 
familiar with Europeans, until it finally recei- 
ved its death-blow. For it is certainly a fact 
that for the last sixty years very few converts 
have been made in India. 1 ' The Abbe adds 
that ' 'a respectable Hindu who was asked to 
embrace the Christian religion would look 


upon the suggestion either as a joke or else as* 

an insult of the deepest dye." (p. 301). The 
Abbe's estimate of the Europeans of his time 
is more emphatically expressed in the original 
(1817) edition than in the revised one. 

Miss Mayo, we see, professes to have written 
the book out of the fullness of her love for 
Hindu women and children. The many pro- 
tests that have been made against her book by 
individual Indian women and associations of 
them are the best comment upon her profession* 
As a matter of fact she has attacked Hindu 
women even more foully than Hindu men. 

We cannot think of a more venomous attack 

than the following : 

Tbit alto, it a matttr neither of rank nor of special 
ignorance* ID fact, so far are they from feeing good 
and evil, at we tee good and evil, that the mother, 
high caste or lew cte, will practise upon her 
children the girl'to make her sleep well, " * 
to make him u inly, an abuse which 
least, it ap to continue daily for the r 
Ihe laat point should be noted. Hij 
authority in widely Mattered sectio 
practically every child brought QBJJJ 
for whatever reason. bart on ite " 
thfe habit, (pp. St. 33). 

Miss {Catherine Mayo is 
any specific authority for this 


^degrading accusation against the mothers of 
India. Even her favourite Abbe Dubois has 
not said anything like it, though it is hardly 
likely that he would have omitted to refer to 
it if he had the slightest ground for believing 
in the existence of such a practice in his whole- 
sale indictment of the Hindu race and religion. 
Miss Mayo speaks of "highest medical autho- 
rity" attesting to this universal abuse of their 
infants by their Hindu mothers. She does 
not cite a single report or other official or non- 
official publication by a medical authority in 
support of her claim. One medical authority 
at teast, and that a very high one, has totally 
repudiated Miss Mayors allegation. Dr. Muthu- 
lakshmi Reddi, the well-known social worker 
and Vice-President of the Madras Legislative 
Council, speaking from her extensive experi- 
ence as a medical practitioner, has stated that 
she has never come across any case which sup- 
jported Miss May o's extraordinary statement 
Any one who knows the high honour in which 
motherhood and mothers are held in India will 
ihtvc no hesitation in describing Mtos Mayo'* 


statement as a frigid, calculated lie. India 
^ay forgive Miss Mayo many things, but this 
cowardly assault on the honour of her mothers, 
never. This single statement alone brands 
Miss Katherine Mayo as but it is needless to 
say more. 

As for the habit continuing in the case of 
boys into mature life, it is well-known that this 
is not one of the vices which at any time was 
said to be common among the Hindu people. 
The universality of marriage and early 
marriages in India remove the main cause 
which has led to the extensive prevalence of 
this vice in modern countries. ( There are 
some illuminating pages on this and cognate 
subjects in Havelock Elite's "The Task of 
Social Hygiene* 1 a new edition of which was 
recently issued by the Oxford University 
Press.) According to another foul and fantastic 
statement of Miss Mayo's, which she puts in 
the mouth of 'a woman physician of wide pre- 
sent-day Indian experience', Indian girl-wives 
'experience marital use two and three times a 
day/ The Indian husband most, indeed, be a 


monster of sexuality to combine this with the 
continuance into adult life of the practice & 
which, according to Miss Mayo, he had been 
initiated in infancy by his mother ! We are 
ashamed to write all this, but when a shameless 
woman, herself too obviously suffering from 
the sex-cogiplex, proclaims to the world that 
these things are normal to Indian life, we have 
perforce to do so. An American friend writ- 
ing last week says that the book is a revelation 
more of Miss Mayo than of Mother India ! 
That Miss Katherine Mayo is only too apt 
gratuitously to invoke unnamed medical autho- 
rity when she is unable to find any more 
specific basis for her highly fanciful and pruri- 
ent imaginations, is conclusively proved by the 
striking letter which Dr. (Miss* M. I. Balfour, 
M. B M wrote to the Times of India on Monday 
the 10th. Dr. Balfour, we may mention, has 
been making a special investigation of 
maternity and infant-life in India for the last 
two years, and her observations, therefore, are 
of special importance. Medical authority in 
Miss Mayo's pages is as frequent and as elusive 

s ancient texts in the mouth of the old-world 

Cognate to this subject is another utterly 
unfounded statement about the dedication of 
boys in Hindu temples. We quote : 

In many part* of tba country, north and aoutb, tbe 
little boy, bia mind no prepare % ia likely, if pbyitoatt? 
attractive, to be drafttd fur the eat it faction of grown 
men, or to ba regularly attaobad to a temple, in tb 
capacity of a proetitute Neither parent as a rtaia- 
aeet any burin in this hut i rather fluttered that tbe> 
aoo baa been found pleaaing. (p. 3fc ) 

Absolutely no authority is given for this, not 
even the inevitable Abbe Dubois who devotes 
a special chapter ot many pages to temple* 
worship. He refers to the dedication of girls, 
but there is no mention whatever of the dedi- 
cation of young boys and their abuse by grown 
men. This, indeed, is an unheard of enormity 
which Miss Mayo fastens upon the Hindus. It 
is very difficult to prove a negative ; but, as it 
happens in this case, we are able to cite a high 
scientific authority in repudiation of Miss 
Mayo's monstrous falsehood. The well-known 
writer on sexual science, Dr. Havelock Ellis, 
has suggested that tbere is a certain connection 
between the prevalence of home-sexuality sa4 


of infanticide. Prof. Westermarck questions 
this statement specifically on the ground that 
the connection does not exist among Hindus. 
He writes : On the other hand, we are acquaint- 
ed with various facts that are quite at variance 
with Dr. Ellis' s suggestion. Among many 
Hindu castes female infanticide has for ages 
been a genuine custom and yet pederasty is 
remarkably rare among the Hindu." \0rigin 
and development of Moral Ideas. Vol. II- 
p. 485.) In another place he mentions, on the 
authority of Burton, that among the Hindus 
the practice is said to be held in abhorrence. 
Miss Katherine Mayo has here also allowed her 
imagination to run away with her. 

As for the institution of deva-dasis, original- 
ly corresponding to vestal virgins, but now 
mostly given to prostitution, this journal took 
a prominent share in the starting of the anti- 
nautch movement and has always pleaded 
for its abolition. But against Miss Katherine 
Mayo's highly coloured picture of it, it is only 
fair to set the Abbe Dubois' comparison of it 
with prostitution in Europe in his days. After 


a detailed description oi the deva-dasis, the 
Abbe writes : " Nevertheless, to the discredit 
of Europeans it must be confessed that the 
quiet seductions which Hindu prostitutes know 
how to exercise with so much skill re- 
semble, in no way the disgraceful methods of 
the wretched beings who give themselves up 
to a similar profession in Europe, an'} whose 
indecent behaviour, cynical impudence, obs- 
cene and filthy words of invitation are enough 
to make any sensible man who is not utterly 
depraved shrink from them in horror. Of 
all the women in India it is the courtesans, 
and especially those attached to the temples, 
who are most decently clothed. Indeed 
they are particularly careful not to expose 
any part of the body. " (p. 587.) What 
would the Abbe have thought of the 
dress of fashionable European and American 
women in these days! Prostitution prevails, 
perhaps, to a greater extent in Europe and 
America than in India and the East generally. 
The peculiarity of deva-dasis, is that they have 
a place in the framework of temple-worship. 


This should not be, and efforts are being made 
to abolish the institution. But has the Church 
no responsibility for evils which it does not 
officially recognise as part of itself ? Christia- 
nity, like the ancient Pharisee, may thank God 
that it lias no deva-dasis attached to itself as in 
Hindu temples, but it is only by voluntarily 
forfeiting its claim to dominate life in all its 
aspects can it escape responsibility for the 
commercialised or clandestine vice which is so 
notorious a feature of modern society. 

Miss Katherine Mayo gives the following 
account of what she heard from a British 
woman doctor " a thousand miles east of 
Bombay." " My patients here," the lady 
doctor is reported to have said, " are largely 
the wives of University students. Practically 
every one is venereally infected." (p, 59.) 
There are other statements in the book to the 
effect that venereal disease is nearly universal 
in India. We must content ourselves here 
with stating a few facts. The late Sir Narayar* 
Chandavarkar once gave a very effective reply 
to the charge of venereal infection among: 


Indians. The disease, he pointed out, is 
known in this country as the Feringhi disease, 
that is, a disease introduced by Europeans. A 
Unani hfckim of note in Bombay told us the 
other day that this is the name by which the 
disease is referred to in Unani medical works. 
The disease was, and is still, rare in the interior 
of the country where there is very little inter- 
course with Europeans. Dr. Norman Leys in 
his book, Kenya, says that the disease was un- 
known in the old world until the discovery of 
the new. Many of the caste rules and restric- 
tions were sanitary in their origin and Manu 
like Moses interwove a great deal of sanitation 
as he knew it into his religious and "social pre- 
cepts. The twin race poisons, namely, alcohol 
and syphilis, if not actually introduced into 
India by Europeans, have been greatly extend- 
ed owing to their influence. It is a diabolical 
lie that University men in India are syphilitics 
as a class, and that their wives are infected by 
them with the disease. 



Miss Katherine Mayo, if she was the 
trained social observer which some of her 
admirers say she is, cannot have failed to 
see that the Abbe Dubois' statements about 
the public and private position of Indian 
women are contradictory and conflicting. She 
has not, as we pointed out in a previous article, 
made the slightest attempt to check them by 
reference to other contemporary estimates of 
Hindu civilization and manners. This is not 
all. No " trained social observer" would 
think of estimating the social progress of India 
without studying the writings of Ranade, the 
illustrious social and religious reform leader. 
As well might a student of Evolution ignore 
Darwin's " Origin of Species'* or of Econo- 
mics, Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations." 
Ranade is the great fountain-head of ideas of 
national progress, as Raja Ram Mohan Roy . 
was before him. Ranade was not only a great 
thinker but he was also a great reader of con- 
temporary literature having any bearing on 


Indian national problems. Mr. Beauchamp's 
translation of Abbe Dubois' book did not 
escape his eagle eye. He made it the text of 
his address to the Twelfth National Social 
Conference held in Madras in 1898, the very 
next year of its publication. The way in 
which he utilised the book was characteristic 
of the man. He took the Abbe's statements 
at their face value, notwithstanding his opinion 
that being a missionary " he unconsciously 
exaggerated many points and misunderstood 
many others/' and that he was "misinformed 
in many respects'", that his explanations in 
some cases " were obviously untrue/ 1 and that 
the Abbe "was unjust to the old civilization/' 
Ranade passed all this by and fastened upon 
what he called the Abbe's " curse' 1 upon the 
people of India- The passage he referred to 
occurs on page 90 of Abbe Dubois' book 
and runs as follows : 

. It if a vain hop* to sappoea that the English people 
can ever improve the condition of the Hindus The 
efforte of a humane ao<i met government may eueoeed 
up to a certain point, ha t ae long at the Hindus cling to 
their oiTil and religious \ nstitntione, euftonu and habitt 
their muat remain what they have alwaye been, no* 
velliagin poverty and wretobedneee. Theee intitutiotie 


atod eaatoma ars insurmountable obstacles in tbalr 
path of progreaa. To make a now race of fllndus, yon 
matt twin by undermining the found+tiooe oftlieir 
titritiaatioD, ralifrion mod polity and turn them into 
atbeiete and barbarian*, and then give them new lawe* 
etw religion and naw poHty Rut aven then tha task 
will ba balf-aocnmptibed, for, we homd till hTe to 
giva tbera a naw nature nd different incliontion*. 
Otberwiee, th^v would oon lpte into tbeir former 
tate aod worth. 

Ranade compared the Abbe's prophecy of 
despair to those of the Hindu astrologers who 
fixed the fatal limit of 5,000 years from the 
commencement of the Kaliyuga, and "accord- 
in to whom we are now just on the verge 
of crossing this Rubicon which separates 
law from anarchy and virtue from impiety, and 
nothing that men can do in the work of their 
own salvation will ever help to avert the crisis. 1 ' 
Ranade showed, comparing the state of things 
as described by the Abbe with what it was in 
1898 when he delivered the address, that both 
the astrologer and the Abbe were at fault and 
remarked that "if he (the Abbe) had. lived a 
hundred years later, he would have joined with 
the contemporary men of his calling in confer- 
ting on us his blessings instead of his curses/* 
Ranade went on to say: 


Hare the past hundred years worked ne perman- 
ent obanoo for the better ? I hone to be able to slnw 
that, if things are not all M bright as we wish f h*m 
to be. they re not to dreary and cheerless as some 
wouJd hare them to be, and that the Britfah oonnao* 
tion *nd its just and human* administration have 
brought about a change in our relUion, law *nd polity, 
of such a character as not to make it necessary that 
we should be nil turned into atheitts And barbarians, 
to be white*washed again into civilization and manners, 
and that, if we haws not acq aired a ner nature, we 
bare at least acquired inclinations and aspirations 
which will prevent our lapse into our former rendi- 
tion. (Miscellaneous Writings of the late Mr. Justice 

. The Abbe Dubois declared that Hindus 
cannot be redeemed without being saved from 
Hinduism. Miss Katharine Mayo says that 
their degradation rests upon a physical base 
namely, "his fthe Hindu's) manner of getting 
into the world and his sex-life thenceforward/' 
Ranade ir* his address showed that the corrup- 
tions which attracted the attention of the Abbe 
were due to causes alien to the principles of 
Hindu civilization. These influences operated 
chiefly when the country was exposed to 
foreign invasions and Ranade ascribed "the 
tone of despondency and panic in the Purajtas 
written about this time" to the alarm felt by 
the play of these alien influences. These 


influences, Ranade held, "were not able to 
extinguish the old fire completely, and the 
spirit of righteous self-assertion and of faith in 
God which has distinguished Brahmanism 
from the first only wanted an opportunity to- 
regain its old liberty/' He continued : 

"The opportunity so sorely needed hae come to 
thie country and slowly but surly nriest-ridden and 
caste -rid den India is loosening its coils of ages. Abbe 
Dubois was unjust to the old civilization when he- 
thought that we should have to unlearn all our past 
and commence with atheism and barbarism and then- 
take our religion, law and polity from our foreign 
masters. Even if the ta*k went poigiMe, the remedy 
would be worse than the disease. We have not to 
unlearn our entire past certainly not the past 
which is the glory and wonder of the human race. We 
have to retrace our steps from the period of depres- 
sion, when in panic and weakness a compromise was 
made with the brute force of ignorance and supersti- 
tion. If this unholy alliance i set aside w have the 
Brabmanism of the first three Yugas unfolding itself 
in all its power and purity as it flourished in the beat 
period of our history. Our nature has not to be 
changed* If that were necessary, escape would be 
hopeless indeed. Our inclinations and aspiratioa 
have to be shifted from one quarter to its opposite, 
from the more immediate past of our degradation to 
the most remote past of our glory. We need no- 
foreign masters for this purpose. It to enough if they 
keep the peace and enforce toleration to all who- 
work for righteousness. Super-imposed laws will not 
do service to us unless aa in some extreme ease* th* 
Surgeon hat to be sent for to stop hemorrhage and 
allow the Physician time to heal the patient. This 
work of liberation must be) the work of oar own hand* 
ach one working of himself fur hie own release. It 


is in ibis spirit that the work has been carried OD 
during the last thirty years and more." (The Mis- 
cellaneous Writings of the late Mr. Justice M. G. 
Ranadt>~ pp. 207, 208.) 

In these weighty words Ranade not only 
replied to Abbe Dubois' book, but laid down 
the policy and the principle of Indian reform. 
Indian reformers are fully alive to the many 
social evils which retard the growth of Indian 
men and women to the full height of their 
stature, but they know that these evils are not 
inherent either in the physical or spiritual 
foundations of Hindu life and they have been 
working not without result to remove them 
without destroying the foundations of national 
life. This is necessarily a work of time. In 
this great work, they welcome the advice and 
assistance of friendly foreigners and have 
always done so. But writers like Miss Kathe- 
rine Mayo and the Abbe Dubois who are in- 
spired by a preconceived hatred of the Hindu- 
religion and race are not of this class. Their 
writings are really a great hindrance to progress. 
The Hindu religion interprets all sin in terms- 
of ignorance* Knowledge not mere intellec- 
tual knowledge but that which shines out o 


one's innermost being in the shape of 
conduct, is the true remedy. Such know- 
ledge comes only through religion by Divine* 
Grace. Hence no one is denied access 
to religion as it is the sole means of rege- 
neration. "Even the worst sinner," says the 
Gita, "if he takes refuge in Me becomes quick- 
ly purified." Jesus Christ, as we understand 
Him, held the same view. And so did 
Gautama Buddha. We are becoming increas- 
ingly sceptical of modern institutional methods 
of dealing with evil, which leave the affections, 
the central core of our being, almost wholly 
out of account It is not the Indian way ; it was 
not Jesus* way. India must go about her reforms 
in her own way ia keeping with the historic 
continuity of her culture and civilisation. She 
will not be bullied into it by the calumnies of 
a Miss Katherine Mayo. Setting ourselves 
'right in the good opinion of Europe and 
America is not a matter of as much moment 
as the asserting and maintaining our right 
rto deal with or national problems in our own 
*w*y and in our own time. France does not 


change her manners to suit American or 
British opinion, neither does America change 
hers because Europe makes Gargantuan fun of 
them. We feel it rather a humiliation to be 
asked to carry out this or that reform because 
otherwise we may suffer in the estimation of 
South African Whites or Americans, or 
Australians. Are there no dark spots in the 
national life of these people ? Is there no in- 
justice, no inequality, no vice, no oppression 
anywhere in the world except in India ? Let 
him who is sinless cast the first stone. As for 
the British refusing future Constitutional 
Reform in India because of our social evils, 
English statesmen are too shrewd to mistake 
social maladjustment for political incapacity. 
Even if they do we should not mind it. We 
cannot sell our birthright of reconstructing our 
society according to our own ideal for the mess 
of political pottage which is tke utmost that we 
may expect from a foreif* Government We 
cannot on any account allow die social initia- 
tive to pass out of our hands into those even of 
die most friendly outsiders. 


A very kind and sympathetic Christian 
friend in expressing his appreciation of the 
Indian Social Reformer gently warns us 
against committing ourselves in condemning 
Miss Mayo's misrepresentations to any thing 
that may be subsequently used by opponents 
of social reform. Of this we have not the 
least fear. Our right to criticize and con- 
demn the evils of our society and to plead with 
our people for reform carries with it a corres- 
ponding duty to defend them against inter- 
ested and malicious calumny such as Miss 
Katherine Mayo's. We have but done our 
duty. If any Indian hereafter makes use of 
anything we have said as an excuse or justi- 
iication for opposing social reforms, we shall 
Jcnow how to deal with him. 



Dr. MNs Margaret I. Balfour who has been 
collecting data for Maternity and Infant Welfare 
work from the Ho^pitaN in Bombay has con- 
tributed the following letter to the Times of 
India, denying the gross allegations in " Mother 

I have recently had the opportunity of reading 
'* Mother India', and have been surprised at some of 
the statements made, especially with reference to 
child mothers. I have some facts relating to that 
subject which I have collected in the course of an 
investigation into the condition of child-birth, and ( 
am asking you to be kind enough to publish them in 
the hope that they may he of service to anyone who 
proposes to write a reply to " Mother India.'* 1 have 
notes of 304 Hindu mothers delivered of their first 
babies in Bombay Hospitals. I he average age 
wee 187 years. 856 per cent, were 17 years 
or over, 14*4 per cent, were below 17; 14 was 
the youngest age and there were 3 of that age. I 
have compared these figures with the reports of ibe 
Xftdrat Maternity Hospital for the years m*-*4. 
2,31* mothers were delivered of their first babies. 
1 he average age was 19*4 years, S6*S per cent, were 17 


years or over and 13*8 per cent, were below 17, 13 wa 
ihe youngest age. There were 7 mothers aged 13 and 
22 mothers aged 14. The Madras figures included 
not ooly Hindu* but women of other communities- 
a'so. 1 have reports of 3. J*64 cases of cbild-btrth - 
from other naris of India including the North. Of 
tbeae only 10 were b)ow 15 years of acre, 13 was the- 
youngest ag*. There is no ooubt that child-birth 
sometime* take* place too early in India and even 
more so that cohabitation commences too early. 
Legislation in badly nodded. But Miss Mayo's words 
at p 30 of ** Mother India" ar at follows* 'The Indian, 
girl, m common practice, looks for motherhood nine 
months f*er reaching puberty or anywhere 
between th* ages of fourteen and eight. The latter 
age is extreme, although in some sections, not excep- 
tional, th< former is well above the average " I 
think the figures I have given prove that the cases- 
instanced by Miss Mayo do not in the least represent 
the common customs of the country. 


MNs Katherine Mayo in her chapter headed 
the Princes of India refers to a "little luncheon 
party given in Delhi by an Indian friend in 
order that I might privately hear the opinion 
of certain I lome Rule politicians/ She asked 
them what theii plan was for the princes of 
India when the British had been expelled* 
44 \Ve shall wipe them out, exclaimed one with 
conviction and all die rest nodded assent.'* 
Lala Lajpat Rai has been at pains to investi- 
gate the truth of this story. In his article in 


the Bombay Chronicle^ Oct. 12, he writes : 

From enquiries from all the possible people who 
could have arranged tuch a party or who could have 
attended it, I learn that Mr K. C. Roy of the Associa- 
ted Press arranged a lunch to which a number of 
Indian gentlemen were invited. The only other 
Bengali present was Mr. Sen, Mr. K O. Roy's assis- 
tant. Mr. E. C. Roy has assured me that Mis* 
Mayo's story of what transpired at the meeting 
(if she really refers to that party) is absolutely untrue. 
Now it is for Miss Mayo to give us the name of her 
host if this was not the party to which she refers. 
'Then I recall a little party given in Delhi by an 
Indian friend in order that 1 might privately hear the 
opinion of certain Home Rule politicians. Most of 
the guests were, like my host. Bengali Hindus belong* 
ing to the Western-educated profestional class. They 
had spoken at length on the coming expulsion of 
Britain from India and on the future in which they 
themselves would rule the land. 'And what/ I asked. 
Is your plan for the Princes?' l Wo nhail wipe them out'! 
exclaimed one with conviction and! all the rent nodded 
assent." The following letter from Mrs. K. C. Roy 
will, I am sure, be of interest to my readers. 
My dear Lalaji, 

Many thanks for your enquiry. We gave a lunch- 
party to Miss Mayo at Maidens Hotel, Delhi, during 
her short stay in the'vapital. She came to us with 
excellent introductions. At the lunch there were only 
two Bengalis, namely my husband and Mr. Sen. AD 
the others were non-Bengalis. Prominent among our 
guests were Mr. M. A. Jinn ah, leader of the Inde- 
pendent Party and Mr. S. Cbetty. As I can recollect 
the discussion ran on Indian constitutional develop- 
ment, her defence, communal harmony, child-welfare 
and art and culture in Delhi. I do not recollect 
whether the position of the Indian Princes wa 
discussed. At any rate, I know that there was no- 
discussion as to their being " wiped out **! 

Simla, Yours sincerely, 

Sept. 7, 1927 DOROTHY BOY. 



III. Ri-v. H. A. POPLEY. 
The Rev. H. A. Popley, writing in the 
Indian Witness* Lucknow, on Miss Katharine 
Mayo's hook Mother India, observes: 

"On pages 132 and 133 she gives an account of the 
Victoria School. Lahore, and quote*, in inverted com- 
mas, statements of the Principal Mian Bose. I have 
consulted this lady and (ind th it a great many of the 
things printed in inverted c >mrnas were never spoken. 
Further Miss Boso in nor, of the third generation of an 
Indian Christian family. The statement, in para 
three of that page (H2 1 , in nvird to lower caste 
children is not. accurate nd WAS never made. On the 
top of pa^e 134 she says that male pandtts have to 
teach behind a curtain. Mis* Hone informs me that 
4 Hindu girls are always taught Sanskrit by ma'e 
pandit* without purdah,' nnd that the statement in 
regard to the pandit of tottering age, u&ed t<t 
be the Cfis<* -to yrarx nqo. The third para on 
page 138 dealing with the aim of the school is 
quite inaccurate, says Miss Bone; and she adds 
*sewing has been an art among Indian women 
for ages, in reference to Miss Mayo's remark that 
* sewing is almost unknown to most of the women of 
India/ The quotation in inverted commas, on 'the 
top of page 134, that * their cooking in later life, they 
would never by nature Ho with their own hands but 
would leave entirely to filthy servants, whence come 
much sickness nnd death ' is entirely imaginary. Miss 
Bose says in reply to it, ' co >ki g is done by ladies of 
-every class, even when thev have servants. Servants 
Are not filthy in any good house, and certainly not in 
Hindu houses.' 

I have felt it necessary to dal with this rather 
extensively because it is a case which I have been able 
to investigate, and here we find an entire lack of 
appreciation for strict accuracy. It is most likely 
that in the innumerable quotations given without 
names the same inaccuracy would be found* 

The following letter is from the pages of the 
*" Manchester Guardian " : 

Sir, May I appeal to your sense of justice and 
claim a place in your paper for this letter of mine 
which I am compelled to write in vindication of my 
position as a representative of India against a most 
unjustifiable attack? 

While travelling in this island of Bali I have just 
chanced upon a copy of the "New Statesman* of 
July 16 containing the review of a book on India 
written by a tourist from America. The reviewer, 
while supporting with an unctuous virulence all the 
calumnies heaped upon our people by the authoress, 
and while calling repeated attention to the common 
Hindu vice of untruthfulness even amongst the 
greatest of us, has made public a malicious piece of 
fabrication, not as one of the specimens picked up 
irom a show-case of wholesale abuse displayed in this 
or some other book, but as a gratuitous information 
about the truth of which the writer tacitly insinuates 
his own personal testimony. It runs as thus: 
"The poet Sir Rabindranath Tagore expresses in print 
his conviction that marriage should be consummated 
before puberty in order to avert the vagaries of 
female sexual desire." 

We have become painfully familiar with deliberate 
-circulation of hideous lies in the West against enemy 
-countries, but a simtliar propaganda against indivi- 
duals, whose countrymen have obvjojfjssjsjsj^i^d the 
writer by their political aspiratig 
as a surprise. If the people of 
ever made themselves 
England, it is imaginable 
this type would take a g JMs^fdelight in 
with profuse helps fron 
American journals, 
quote for his support 
vicarious*enjoyment of c 
Bat would he, in the fie 


running amok* dare to make the monstrous accusa- 
tion, let us aay, against the late President Wilson for 
ever having ei pressed his pious conviction that the- 
lynching of the negroes was a moral necessity 
in a superior civilisation for cultivating Christian 
virtues V Or would he venture to ascribe to Professor 
Dew ay the theory that centuries of witch burning 
have developed in the Western peoples the quick 
moral sensitiveness that helps them in judging and* 
condemning others whom they do not know or under- 
stand or like and about whose culpability they are 
ne ver in lack of conclusive evidence ? But has it 
been made BO easily possible in my case, such a de- 
liberately untruthful irresponsibility in this writer, 
condoned by the editor, by the fact that the victim 
was no better than a British subject who by accident 
of hm birth has happened to be a Hindu and not 
belonging to the Moslem community, which, accord- 
ing to th* writer, is specially favoured by his people 
and our Government? 

M.iylptint out in this connection that selected- 
documents of facts generalised into an unqualified 
statement affecting a whole large population may 
become in the hands of the tourist from across the 
sea poison- tipped arrow of the most heinous form of 
untruth to which the British nation itself may afford 
a broadly easy target? It is a cunning lie agaicst a 
community which the writer has used when be des- 
cribes the Hindus as cow-durig eaters. It is just as 
outrageous as to introduce Englishmen to those who- 
know them imperfectly as addicted to the cocaine 
habit because cocaine is commonly used in their 
dentistry. In Hindu India only in rare cases an ex- 
ceedingly small quantity of cow dang is used not as 
an ingredient in their meals, but aa a part of the per- 
formance of expiatory rites for some violation of 
social convention. One who has no special interest or 
pleasure in creating ill-feeling towards the Euro- 
peans wil), if he it honest, hesitate in describing them,, 
though seemingly with a greater justice than in the- 
other ca*e, as eaters of live creatures or of rotten 
.food, mentioning oyster and cheeee for illustration. It 


<is the subtlest method of falsehood, tkis placing ot 
exaggerated emphasis upon insignificant details. 

giving to the exception the appearance of the rule. 

The instances of moral perversity when observed in 
alien surroundings naturally loom large to u, because 
the positive power of sanitation which works from 
within and the counteracting forces that keep up 
social balance are not evident to a stranger, especially 
to one who has the craving for an intemperate luxury 
of moral indignatnn, which very often is the sign of 
-the same morbid pathology seen from behind. When 
such a critic comes to the East not for truth but for 
the chuckling enjoyment of an exaggerated self- 
complacency, and when he underlines some social 
aberrations with his exultant pencil arid glaringly 
emphasising them out of their context, h goads 
our own young critics to play the identical unholy 
game. They also., with the help of the numerous 
guide books supplied by unimpeachable agency for 
the good of humanity* explore the dark recesses of 
Western society, the breeding grounds of nauseous 
hahitfl and moral filthmess, some of which have a 
dangerous cover of a respectable exterior ; they also 
select their choice specimens of rotteaneas with the 
same pious zeal and sanctimonious pleasure as the 
foreign models have in besmearing the name "f a 
whole nation with the mud from ditches * * * 

And thus is generated the endless vicious circle of 
mutual recrimination and ever-accumulating mis- 
understandings that are perilous for the peace of the 
world. Of course our young critic in the East is under 
a disadvantage. For the Western peoples have an 
enormously magnifying organ of a sound that goes 
deep and reaches far, either when they malign others 
or defend themselves against accusations which 
touch th*ro to the quick ; whereas our own mortified 
critic struggles with his unaided lungs that can 
whisper and sigh but not shout. But is it not known 
that our inarticulate emotions become highly inflam- 
mable when crowded in the under-ground cellars of 
oar mind, darkly silent? Tbe whole of the Eastern 


Continent is daily being helped in the storage of such 
explosives by the critics of the Watt, who with a 
delicious sense of duty done, are ever ready to give- 
Tent to their blind prejudice! while tenderly nouri- 
hing a comfortable conscience that lulls them into 
forgetting that they also have their Western ana- 
logies in moral licence, only in different garbs made 
in their fashionable establishments or in their slums. 
However let me strongly assure my Englifh and 
other Western readers that neither I nor my indig- 
nant Indian friends whom I have with me have ever 
had the least shadow of intimation of what has been 
described in this book and quoted with a grin of con- 
viction by this writer as the usual pntctice in the 
training of sexual extravagance. I hope such Western 
readers will understand my difficulty in giving an 
absolute denial to certain facts alleged when they 
remember the occasional startling disclosures in their 
own society in Flu rope and America, allowing to the 
unsuspecting public a sudden 'glimpse of systematic 
orgies or sexual abnormality in an environment which 
is supposed not to represent "subhuman" civilisation. 
The writer in the "New Statesman" has suggested 
for the good of the world that the people in India 
condemned by the tourist for malpractices should 
never be assisted by the benevolent British soldiers* 
safely to preserve their existence and continue their 
race. He evidently chooses to ignore the fact that 
these people have maintained their life and culture 
without the help of the British soldiers for a longer 
aeries of centuries than his own people have. How- 
ever that may be, I shrink from borrowing my wisdom 
from this source and make a similarly annihilating 
suggestion for this kind of writers, who spread about 
the malignant contagion of race-hatred; because, in 
pite of provocations, we should have a patient faith 
in human nature for its unlimited capacity for im- 
provement, and let us hope to be rid of the lurking- 
persistence of barbaritm in man, not through elimi- 
nation of the noxious elements by physical destruc- 
tion but through the education of mind and a disci* 
pline of true culture. 


Under the title " Drain Inspector's Report"" 
Mahatma (ianclhi published in )"rv/// India 
(Ahmedabad; lor Septeinbei l."i a review of 

Katherine Mayo s book " Mothei India, from 

which \ve print an extract ! 

Tne book ia cleverly and powerfully written. The 
carefully chosen q'lot .-iti HIM nive it the appearance of 
a truthful book. Hut the imp oaaion it leaven on my 
mind in. that it is the report of <\ dram injector sent 
out with the one purpose of o^'-nm.? and ex-iiTiining 
the draint of the country M be reported upon, <>r to 
give a graphic description nf it, ^ternl) "xhuded by 
the opened drams If Mis* M iyo c xifnvaed that 
nho had gooe to India merely t^ open out and examine 
the drains of India, there would perkupt be hltle to 
complain about her compilation, hit she s.tyt in eiYect 
with a certain amount of triumph ' Che drains are 
India.' True, M the concluding chapter there it a 
caution. But her caution is cl^v^rly madf to enforce 
her swepiniC condemnation I feel th*t no one who 
hat any knowledge of iruii.i <,m ponntbly accept her 
terrible i ,ni against the thought and the life 
of the people of this unhaf>oy country. 

Tne book > without doub*. untruthful, be the facts 
tated ever so truthful. If I onen out and describe 
with punctilious cure all the stench exhuded from the 
drains of London and tay " Bt-hold London," my 
fact* will he incapable of challnge, but my judgment 
will be rightly condemned at a travesty of truth. Mis* 
Muyo't book is nothing better, nothing else. 
The authoreas ayt she was diiaatisfied whb the 
literature she read about India, and so ihe came to 
India "to sec whmt a volunteer unnubiidiz'd, uncom- 
mitted and unattached; could observe of oomraoa 
things in daily human life.* 1 

After hwing read the book: with great attention^ 
I regret to say that I find it difficult to accept this 


claim. Unsubsidized the may be. Uncommitted and 
unattached she certainly fails to ihow herself in any 
page. We in India are accustomed to interested 
publication! patronised, ' patronised * ie accepted ae 
aa elegant synonym for * subsidised/ by the Goven- 
ment. We have become used to understanding from 
pre-British days, that the art (perfected by the 
British) of government includes the harnessing of the 
secret services of men learned, and reported to be 
honest and honourable for shadowing suspects and 
for writing up the virtues of the Government 
of tho day as if the certificate had come from dis- 
interested quarters. I hope that Miss Mayo will not 
take offence if she comes under the shadow of such 
suspicion. It may be some consolation to her to know 
that even some of the best English friends of India 
have been so suspected. 

But ruling out of consideration the suspicion, it 
remains to bo seen why she has written this untruth- 
ful book. It is doubly untruthful. It is untruthful in 
that she condemns a whole nation or in her words 4 the 
peoples of Inaia ' ishe will not bavo us as one nation) 
practically without any reservation as to their sanita- 
tion, morals, religion, etc. It in also untruthful 
because she claims for the British Government merits 
which cannot be sustained a&d which manv an honest 
British officer would blush to see the Government 
credited with. 

If he is not subsidised, Mits Mayo is an avowed 
Indophobe and Anglophil refusing to see anything 
good about Indians and anything bad about the British 
and their rule. 

She does not give one an elevated idea of Western 
standard of judgment. Though she represents a class 
of sensational writers in the West, it is a class that, 
I flatter myself with the belief, is on the wane. T here 
is a growing body of Americans who hate anything 
sensational, smart or crooked. But th* pity of it is 
that there are still thousands fa the West who delight 
in 'shilling shockers.* Nor are all the authoress'* 
quotations or isolated facts truthfully stated. I pro* 
pose to pick those I have personal knowledge of. The 


fcoetfcrtstles with quotations torn from their context* 
and with extract* which have been authoritatively 

The authoress ha* violated all sense of propriety 
by associating the Poet** name with child-marriage. 
The Poet has indeed referred to early marriage a* not 
an undesirable institution. But there is a world of 
diffcrei ce between child-marriage and early marriage. 
If she had taken the trouble of making the acquain- 
tance of the free and freedom-loving girls and women 
of Shantiniketan, she would have known the Poet's 
meaning of early marriage. 

She has dore me the honour of quoting me free* 
quently in support of her argument. Any person who 
collects extracts from a reformer's diary, tears them 
from their context and proceeds to c >ndemn, on the 
strength of these, the people in whose midst the 
reformer has worked, would get no hearing from sane 
and unbiassed readers or hearers But in her hurry to 
sea everything Indian in a had light, she has not only 
taken liberty with my writings, but she has not thought 
it necessary even to verify through me certain thing* 
ascribed by her or others to me. In fact she has 
combined in her own person what we understand in 
India the judicial and the executive officer. She i* 
both the prosecutor and the judge. 

But why am I writing this article'? Not for the 
Indian reader* but for the many American and 
English reader* who read these pages from week to 
week with *>mpatby and attention. I warn them 
against believing this book. I do not remember having 
given the message Mis* Mayo impute* tome. The only 
one present who took any note* at all bas no recollec- 
tion of the message imputed tome. But I do know what 
message I give every American who comes to see me; 
% 'D not believe newspaper* and the catchy literature 
you get in America. But if you want to know any 
-thing about India, go t* India a* students, study 
India for yourself. If you cannot go, make a study 
of all that i* written about India for her and against 


her and then form your own conclusion!. The- 
ordinary literature you get it either exaggerated 
vilification of India or exaggerated praise " I warn 
Americans and Englishmen against copy ing Miss Mayo. 
She came not with an open mind as she claims, but 
with her preconceived notions and prejudices which she 
be tray on every page, not excluding even the intro- 
ductory chapter in which she recites the claim. She 
came to India not to see things with her own eyes, 
but to gather material three fourths of which she 
could as well have gathered in America. 

That a book like Miss Mayo's can command a 
large circulation furnishes a sad commentary on 
Western literature and culture. 

1 am writing this article also in the hope, be it 
ever so distant, that Miss Mn>o herself may reient 
and repeat of having dunf. 1 hope unconsciously* 
atrocious injustice to an ancient people and equally 
atrocipus injustice to the Americans by having 
exploited h*r undoubted abiiitv to prejudice without 
warrant their minds against India. 

The irony of it all it that she h;s inscribed this book 
*To the peoples of Ind-.a'. She has certainly not 
written it as a reformer, and out of love. If I am 
mistaken in my estimate let her coma back t> India. 
Let her subject herself to cross examination, and if 
her statements escape unhurt through the fire of cross 
examination, let her live in o>r midst and reform our 
lives. 80 macb for Miss M *yo and her readers 

1 must now come to the other side of the picture. 
Whilst I consider the book to be unfit to be placed 
before Americans and Englismpn (for it can do ncr. 
good to them), it is a book that every Indian can read 
with some degree of profit. We may repudiate the 
charge as it bat been framed by her, but we may not 
repudiate the substance underlying the many allega- 
tions she has made. It is a good thing to seeoyr- 
sslves as other* see us. We need not even examine- 
the motive with which the book is written. A cautious- 
reformer may make some use of it* 



"Ditclu'r" writing in the* Capital. Calcutta, 
says : 

Miss Katherine Mayo is seemingly conscious of her 
limitations for she shows a fondness for smoking room 
stories to eke out her mess of stale kail. Those who 
told them to her pulled her legegregiously. Take the 
following for instance : 

'Here is a story from the lipa of one whose veracity 
has never, I believe, been questioned. The time was 
the stormy period in 1920 when the new Reforms Act 
was casting doubt over the land and giving rise to the 
persistent rumour that Britian was about to quit 
India. My informant, an American of long Indian 
eiperience, was visiting one of the more important of 
the princes a man of great charm, cultivation and 
force, whose, work for his Statewas of the first order. 
The prince's De^an was also present and the three 
gentlemen had been talking at ease, as became the old 
friends that they were. 

'His Highness does not believe,' said the T)ewan, 
'that Britain isgoirg to leave India. But still, under 
this new regime in Kngland, they may be so ill-advis- 
ed. So, Hi* Highness is getting his troops in shape, 
accumulating munitions and coining silver. And if the 
English do go, three months afterwards not a rupee or 
a virgin will be left in all Bengal/ 

To this His Highness sitting in his 
from Bengal by half the breadth of 
agreed. His ancestors through the 
redatory Mahratta chiefs. 1 

I heard the original of that ttor 

n.ore racily told more than f ost <sfe>rs ago. Xba 
actora ware Lord Dufterin and Sif/Pert ab &in$/\ifce 
gallant Rajput woo ao often IfclHf m ftegenV>oi 
Jodhpur. rnZT > p V > * 

"What would happen if the \ 
asked the Viceroy. 


"What would happen," replied the Rajput warrior, 
"*'! would oall to my Jawans to boot and eaddle and in 
* month there would not be a virgin or a rupee left in 

I knew Sir Pertab well, and at the Curzonion durbar 
I asked him if this conversation had ever taken place. 
**Lie my friend, a damned lie/' he answered fiercely. 
44 We, Rajputs, never offend the inoffensive. When 
we insult our foes we give them the chance to re- 
taliate with the sword." I am tempted to quote 
Sidney Smith on American gullibility but why libel 
a nation for the rantings of an eccentric woman ?" 


Speaking at Geneva to a yroup of students 
lioni all parts oi tlie Kmpire who had ^atliered 
together for the purpose of vNitinjj Switzerland 
and aKo ol witnessing the League ol Nations 
at uork. the Hon. Sir C. P. Ramaswami Aiyar 
k^ as follows : 

In order to furnish to outsiders a true picture of 
Miss Mayo's * Mother India " it it perhaps most 
useful to employ a figure of speech. Assume that a 
guest is invited to ray bouse and is shown the draw- 
ing room and the living quarters and has the addi- 
tional opportunity of seeing the garden and its embel- 
lishments and assume that when taking leave of the 
host he catches sight of the open drain in a corner. 
Assume, moreover, that this person to whom my 
hospitality has been extended proceeds to write a book 
bout what he has seen and concentrates on the drain 
and ignores the other features of the house and 
garden that would be to act as Miss mayo has done. 
In saying this I do not for a moment ignore or mini- 
mise the many social evils and handicaps from which 
India is suffering. Some of these evils are as old 
as humanity and some aspect of these evils are as 
prominent in Europe and America as in India; 
but every right minded Indian patriot is wil- 
ling and anxious to right these abuses and is working 
for their eradication. In such an endeavour Indian* 
have been helped by men and women of other races) 
but amongst such helpers cannot be counted persona 
like Miss Mayo with filthy minds who in all probability 
are suffering from inhibited instincts and who have 
no eyes but for evil, dirt and degradation. 



There if no periodical ia India which approaches it 
for the money, Educational Review. 

Well-known monthly Magazine. The Bengalee. 

Toil excellent Review. TV Telegraph* 

A store-house of pleasant and instructive reading. 
Tribune, Lahore. 

A marvel of cheapness. Weekly Chronicle* 

Excellent monthly. Patrika. 

" The Indian Review " may he called the Review of 
Reviews for India. Undoubtedly a jeni of its kinu 
and no cultured Indian eares to be without it. Sanji- 
vartman, Bombay. 

Deservedly enjoys a great popularity. --barter. 

It deserves to rank with some of the best Engliah 
and American Reviews. Abkari. 

As fresh, typical and informing as ever. Pa. 

The Magazine for the million. Ka*xar-i-Ihnd. 

Improves each month. Rangoon Times. 

The premier review and magazine of India. 
Basnein News, 

There is in the Indian Review subject for all rea* 
dere. Indian Textile Journal 

Full of live articles. Capital. 

One of the best of its kind in India. Commerce. 

In matter it is voluminous, and in scope wide ... 
Shows a wonderful catholicity. Calcutta Review, 

Ably edited, capitally turned oat. The Ceylon 

A journal of immense influence and popularity, 
Ceylon Law Review. 

One of the brightest and most readable periodicals 
in India Xdtwcate of India. 

The annual subscription to the "Indian Review*' it 
Rs. 5. (Five) only including pottage* Subscription can 
commence from any month* If you have not already 
seen the "Review" send postage stamps for As. Four for 
a specimen copy to O. A. Natesan d' Co., Publishers, 
Madras.Current issues are not given as specimen copies 

G.A. Nateun&Oo., Publishers, George Town, Madras*